Arts & Entertainment, Features, Reviews

REVIEW: Caye returns to Boston to spread love on first headline tour

“This is the hometown show so this is the most special one,” Caye said to the audience at Brighton Music Hall.

Although it’s not the first time Caye, a Boston native, has performed at this venue, the show this past Saturday was the only Boston concert for his first headline tour, “WE LOVE.”

I was one of the first to arrive at the show, and I watched the crowd build itself up. I was initially surprised that in a sea of 20 and 30-somethings, a few older people were in the crowd. They looked like they could be the parents of many of the attendees.

Caye performing in Boston.
Caye performing in Boston. A Boston native, this was Caye’s only show in the area on his first headline tour. AMANDA BIRBARA/DFP PHOTOGRAPHER

The venue was filled with familiar faces for the two performers. The hometown show brought in Caye’s family as well as Caye’s drummer Eli’s family. Eli’s family is from Brookline.

The opener, Bensbeendead, embraced the audience in a hug of confessional electronic pop music. Although he said he was nervous about performing on stage, he exuded charisma and made comments that made me laugh during his set.

Caye stepped out barefoot onto the stage with bandaids on his toes. The room was humming with vibrational sounds and cheers from the audience. Caye sat down on a stool in the middle of the stage and began to meditate.

Moments later, a chime rang, Caye got up and played the didgeridoo. The production amplified Caye’s vocals. He opened with the first track on the “WE LOVE” album, “WE LOVE, PT. 1.”

Caye demonstrated his musical abilities from the jump as he switched from playing the steel drums, the piano and the electric guitar throughout the set.

The sheer amount of instruments and sounds that Caye incorporates into the live set expresses his musicality. Yet, I found Caye’s vocals, his thrilling high notes and entertaining ad-libs, to be the most impressive. His voice is fit for pop and R&B music. The sounds and his vocals mesh together seamlessly and are brimming with a sense of joy.

The echoey piano melody from “LOSE SLEEP” rang in my head all night after the concert and the next morning, I seriously couldn’t stop humming the simple, sweet tune to myself.

When I spoke to Caye before the concert, he explained that he has gained enough industry experience and funds to do the live performances the way he has aspired to do them, “My vision is the most brought to life it’s ever been,” he said.

Caye’s outfit reminded me of something purchased from Urban Outfitters. Caye’s green corduroy pants were embroidered with small cartoony designs. His patchwork jacket of many colors contrasted the silver chain jewelry around his neck and wrist.

Caye’s white nail polish matched his white t-shirt. His bleached hair with a black heart shape dyed on it mirrored the “WE LOVE” album cover art.

Before Caye came on stage, his team set up plastic plants around the mic stand and two neon signs. One sign was of Caye’s name, and the other had floating orbs containing different symbols, including the signature heart of the “WE LOVE” album visuals above an open hand. Caye’s mic stand was covered in a rainbow of hand-painted hearts. Every detail was effortlessly visually appealing and intentionally curated.

After a rendition of “DOPAMINE” where Caye conducted the crowd to sing along to the chorus, Caye took a moment to tell the crowd that this weekend was both his brother’s and sister’s birthdays, who were in the audience. When Caye asked, the crowd enthusiastically sang “Happy Birthday” to his siblings.

Caye’s positive energy was infectious, between his songs Caye shouted “we love!” for the crowd to return the phrase back.

Caye danced on the stage excitedly waving his arms and legs in the direction of his family in the front row. It was goofy and heartwarming to watch as it was noticeably an emotional night for Caye and his team.

I turned to see tears and a smile on Caye’s brother’s cheeks at the end of the show and his family holding one another.

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