R&B wunderkind Khalid and his American Teen Tour came to the Santa Barbara Bowl on a hot August night and found his faithful young audience waiting to sing every word of every song with their newfound hero. The concert was a match made in R&B heaven that resonated with young and old alike. Capping a mercurial year for the 19-year old, Khalid’s “American Teen” album has taken over the charts and garnered critical rave reviews along with sold out shows on his tour. The gathered throng at the Santa Barbara Bowl testified that Khalid’s songs capture current youth culture well and are filled with superb musical hooks and ladders leading to lofty musical heights.
Khalid’s show at the Santa Barbara Bowl featured a superb three-piece backing band (performing on a platform atop two large video screens), two female dancers/cheerleaders, and an outstanding light show. The young singer regaled the crowd with effortless and effective vocals and impressive dance-moves throughout the show. The crowd was enraptured the entire set, but particularly on songs “American Teen,” “Young, Dumb & Broke,” “Let’s Go,” “8TEEN” and “Saved.” His vocals particularly impressed on the latter where his voice rose above the backing tracks and textures.
Towards the end of his set he sang his mega-hit “Location” coupled with videos of maps and neighborhoods, and it took the show to another level. “Location” is a classic love song framed in contemporary culture on which Khalid sang “Send me your location, I don’t wanna fall in love off of subtweets, so let’s get personal.” The song drew the crowd closer and made a personal connection with all.
Khalid is a talented singer-songwriter at the start of what should be a long and prosperous career, and we can’t wait for him to return to the Santa Barbara Bowl.
Check out all the show photos by Santa Barbara Bowl House Photographer, A Arthur Fisher, on our photo library.
For more concert reviews and memories, head to the Bowl Timeline.