Singer-songwriter Keshi’s die-hard fans created an atmosphere at Thursday night’s sold-out concert that was a performance in itself. As a relatively new listener, I watched in awe as the audience came alive with energy that even Keshi himself said was insane.
Casey Luong, a Houston-native who goes by his stage name Keshi, is popular within the Asian-American community. He gave an unforgettable performance at Royale Boston for his HELL / HEAVEN tour to fans who chanted words of endearment, lust and praise. Boston was one of the many stops on his jam-packed North American tour.
On top of all the songs from his new debut album, “GABRIEL,” Keshi played a collection of his earlier songs which his fans recognized, including “beside you,” currently his most popular song on Spotify and “like i need u,” which has over 100 million streams on Spotify. He also performed “skeletons,” “less of you” and “right here.”
When Keshi came out on stage singing “GET IT,” one of his more boisterous hip-hop tracks from “GABRIEL,” the crowd went ballistic, bouncing up and down and raising their hands in unison with the beat. Other tracks he performed from his new album included “SOMEBODY,” “WESTSIDE” and “TOUCH,” which Keshi said was his favorite from the album and a story from a close friend.
Keshi’s music blends soft lo-fi with hip-hop beats and killer instrumentals that accompany his velvety falsettos seamlessly. His voice left me bewildered and in utter amazement as it interrupted the intensity of the instrumentals and slowed down to create a feeling of time stopping.
“ANGOSTURA” was the chillest song to vibe to and had a very catchy chorus — “Goddamn, girl, you look amazin’” and “Babe, we can drink it all away, what you say? what you say? what you say?” “WESTSIDE” also featured a sick guitar solo that riled up the audience.
Halfway through his set, Keshi took off his leather jacket, sending another reverberating shrill through the crowd, revealing his bare torso and tattoo sleeve. Joking with the crowd, he said the room was getting too hot and that he would not take his shirt off at every performance.
Toward the end of the night, he pulled out his own guitar to perform his older song, “drunk,” solo. The crowd sang the lyrics softly along with him: “All my friends are drunk again and I’m stumbling back to bed all by myself, don’t need nobody else.”
Keshi was good spirited throughout the entire performance, engaging with his audience and laughing when roses and other gifts were thrown onstage. What was most touching to witness were the looks of excitement and disbelief on the faces of Keshi’s supporters. That look of pure euphoria never went away.
Keshi ended on “GABRIEL,” but when he left the stage, his drummer, guitarist and piano player remained. They raised their hands enticing the audience to cheer him back on stage.
As if choreographed, the crowd began chanting his name together asking for an encore. And he didn’t disappoint. Keshi came back on to sing “2 soon,” and blew kisses to a crowd so unwilling to leave, wishing they could make the night and concert last forever.