TINASHE live @ The Institute, Birmingham, UK [03-03-15]

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This is like TWO weeks later now, you know me and how late I can be but, DAWG… What a show [as I’m sure many fellow fans who attended would agree so]. SO… I attended the second UK show of the Aquarius Tour in Birmingham. I stood in awe of a quintessential contemporary R&B artist of our time, Miss Tinashe Kachingwe (whom I was always lucky enough to meet earlier on that evening) as she opened the show with Vulnerable [from the Black Water mixtape] wearing a mask. The opening was followed up with Stunt (another cut from the tape), where the lyric “I switch it up” was an exact reflection of what she did by performing the more uptempo song, just when I was getting “kinda comfortable”. Tinashe strung out an array of work from the tapes throughout the show – one of which was for day-ones when she got busy on stage with Boss showing little blemishes of sound change at most as far as keeping the live performance as close to original audio goes. She came as musically authentic as they come and correct as they can get.

Midway through the show, she slowly began to “turn up” with All Hands On Deck, Watch Me Work and a choreographed dance routine to Rae Sremmurd’s No Type accompanied by some backup. This gave the audience a chance to really get moving, you could tell the crowd were more familiar with the upbeat songs than the others and built with more tendency to sing along – far from shy.

She entered an R&B zone in which I’m confident that the old skool fans would appreciate as she strutted her way through a string of tracks like Ecstasy, Midnight Sun, Cold Sweat & Bet (in which later faded into a guitar solo). Though the vibe of the show had slowed down, there was a noticeable change of mood in the show as she transitioned into a quieter mode.

I definitely felt the presence of her throughout the show, however it was particularly moreso during this part where an atmosphere seemed created by a natural source of every via the music which completely swayed the vibe of the show as [speaking for myself] she moved me, the intensity arose. There was a sense of genuine intimacy.

Gracing halfway through the set, she took a seat on a stool to perform the inevitable ballad Bated Breath (which she part-way through the performance chose to stand on). Whilst she belted out the ballad from the LP, I heard vocal range that I never knew she was capable of – so I was beyond impressed. I’m sure the performance of that score should be enough to keep the critics “quiet as a mouse”, if they’re still in doubt. 

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And of course, the show closed with 2 On, like, come on. I’ve nothing much to say. You know the hit. Everybody reacted immediately; resonating as soon as the beat dropped. She got down, for sure with the dancing before she began serving up the main course of the night. She made no change to the dance in the music video for the set; she didn’t need to touch it…if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it, right? No pliers required for tweaking. The best part of the song for me that I absolutely LOVED was the reprise where she & her dancers just danced it out, working their asses off, literally – this to me showcased what an amazing entertainer she truly is, a remarkable talent. Great conclusion to a set which ran for just over an hour’s period of time.

I believe Tinashe is a star in the game already and if not then she’s rising at LEAST. I listened to her new tape Amethyst (which she recorded over Christmas 2014 in her bedroom) on Monday just gone, and for a 22 year old music artist in 2015 who [now] has 4 mixtapes under her belt and an LP all of consistent quality, I say you should applaud that.

Overall I enjoyed the live show as much as I have listening to her music since last year when I first came across the mixtape material. Thank you, Tinashe. Glad to be a fan.

~ L S

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