BY VISHAL NYAYAPATHI// On Wednesday, October 10th, Gabriel Garzón-Montano opened for Kali Uchis’ second homecoming performance at the 9:30 club on her In Your Dreams Tour.
At around 8 o’clock, Gabriel entered the stage accompanied by an airy groove, wearing a dark brown patterned velveteen blazer with matching pants. Walking from stage right to stage left, Gabriel stopped to acknowledge each section of the audience. Then, he began his set by performing his latest single “Golden Wings”. Following a phenomenal musical performance, Gabriel greeted the audience in English, Spanish, and French, introducing his multicultural background and professing his love for the D.C. crowd.
One of the most exciting aspects of Gabriel’s performance was his affinity for dramatics. About halfway through his set, Gabriel exited stage leaving his band on stage to solo under a haze of fog and ethereal lighting. After about a few minutes of an instrumental transition, a familiar percussion loop slapped through the speakers. Gabriel re-emerged from off stage, wearing a fluorescent jacket over a glimmering, black sequins one-piece. As he began to sing the lines “Rock me real slowly…” in his usual endearing falsetto, I heard a fan exclaim excitedly, “Oh, this that Drake song!!” Gabriel’s theatrical performance of “6 8”, which was sampled in Drake’s “Jungle” was easily one of the highlights of the night (others being Kali’s dancing silhouette during “Dead To Me” and her unexpected performance of “Never Be Yours” off her Drunken Babble mixtape). The rest of his set included songs such as “Fruitflies” and “Keep Running”, as well as a sensual performance of “Crawl”.
All in all, I have personally never seen a crowd so enamored by an opening act. Although, some concert goers challenged Gabriel’s set with side conversations, most of the audience seemed engaged with his set, his outfits, and most of all his personality! I felt that Gabriel’s style and genre fit the vibe of Kali’s fans, especially those who had been following her for a long time.
Following a serious and unfortunate accident, Gabriel Garzón will be opening for the remainder of Kali’s tour dates while the original opener, Cuco, and his band recover.