Review: In his purple glory, R&B star HER celebrates Minneapolis debut


Minneapolis counts for HER

The Oscar and Grammy-winning R&B star pointed it out with her purple outfit on Friday night at the Minneapolis Armory.

She mentioned it in words, acknowledging that she had dressed as a tribute to Minneapolis’ most famous musician. And later she talked about how Prince was a major influence.

She also gave him a musical nod, playing the climactic guitar section of “Purple Rain” at the end of a brand new HER song.

Even without all the purple (including her oversized shirt dress, sneakers, nails, sunglasses and sparkly electric piano), it would have been a triumphant start in Minneapolis for HER

His vocalization, guitar playing and stage presence were impressive. The coupling of his voice with those of his four singers was masterful and often magical. The way she took on the challenge of converting a repertoire full of relaxing R&B hits into an invigorating gig was smart and ingenious.

HER mixed in some unexpected material, starting the night off with vibrant DJ Khaled host “We Going Crazy,” a 2021 recording that featured her and Migos on. “Make It Rain,” which Ed Sheeran recorded for FX’s “Sons of Anarchy,” allowed him to show off his bluesy guitar chops and unexpected moaning vocals.

Toward the end of the 85-minute gig, she danced along to a medley of snippets from “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “We Will Rock You” and “Glory,” shredding like a guitar goddess. Then she topped it all off, standing two stories above the stage with her four-man band, blasting Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” a track she had performed with him there. four weeks at the Grammy Awards.

She will rock you.

The 24-year-old versatile player understood this part. However, she stumbled early in the program by truncating too many of her own R&B hits, including the seductive “Come Through” and piano ballad “Losing.” With a set comprising more than two dozen selections, it might have been more prudent to offer fewer songs but in full versions.

The show turned halfway through when HER stood center stage atop a modest platform. Accompanied only by her acoustic guitar and four singers, she became as intimate in front of 7,000 people as her songs are when played in your living room.

“Girl Like Me,” her collaboration with Jazmine Sullivan, saw her sing with new feeling and soaring trills. “Cheat Code” tapped into a Sade-esque groove, with the backing vocals’ layers and textures punctuating the emotion like a stolen kiss.

The best was “Best Part,” HER’s No. 1 adult R&B single with Daniel Caesar from 2017, arranged with the celestial finesse of Stevie Wonder and featuring sidekick singer Milo, 17, who had women in the mix. public in swoon.

Wrapping up the main set, HER declared “We Made It,” a celebration of his career struggles from a 10-year-old prodigy who sang on “The Tonight Show” to a Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist admired across the board. the music industry since her debut in 2016. She followed that up with an untitled new number about losing control because she’s falling in love, filled with dramatic vocals and soaring guitar that eventually gave way to “Purple Rain “.

Surprisingly, HER didn’t perform any of his famous social commentary — the Oscar-winning “Fight for You,” which was on his set list for most of this ongoing tour, and the Grammy-winning “I Can’t Breathe”. inspired in part by George Floyd killed by police in Minneapolis.

She found other things to say about Minneapolis in her late debut. And Minneapolis will have plenty to say about its rather thrilling concert. Twitter: @JonBream 612-673-1719


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