I've always praised Kali Uchis
for her sense of self, her confidence, and general bad-assery, so when I was able to see her perform at Bowery Ballroom last Friday, I couldn't contain my excitement.
The whole vibe of the Bowery felt extremely intimate. Kali's friends and family reserved a large section of the venue, and at some moments you couldn't tell apart a fan from a cousin. Those degrees of separation didn't exist on Friday night since you could clearly tell every single person there praises the Colombian songstress just as equally.
Since it was one of the last performances on her tour, everyone had high hopes for this show, so when The Bowery Ballroom's sound system began to malfunction, the crowd showed their frustration. Kali, however, remained calm, cool, and collected.
As soon as Kali entered the stage to perform her song, "Speed", we were all instantly impressed with her dance skills and her fiery attire, but when she opened her mouth to sing, ...nothing. It got to the point where she was almost halfway through the song, and we still hadn't heard a single lyric. Finally, Kali began tapping on her mic, and stopped dancing.
After the Bowery's audio technicians recognized the sound issue (a bit later than we hoped), Kali's mic turned on. She then said as nonchalantly as possible, "Alright, I'm going to do that again... pretend like it's the first time I am coming out." Everyone in the room cheered her on as she redid her whole entrance even better than the first time.
Everything was going swell until about twenty minutes into the show when Kali's mic began to fade. A group of her family members started yelling at the sound technicians to make her mic louder. Eventually, we all chimed in, because blame games are fun.
Then, toward the end of her set, the whole PA system started howling some ear-bleeding feedback. And it wasn't that type of feedback that lasts a second; it lasted a good couple of minutes. Kali stopped again, but didn't lose her cool. She was hands on, and asked everyone in the front row to take their hands away from the speakers. She then caught up with her band and kept on singing, twirling, and booty poppin'.
The Bowery Ballroom's sound system definitely had a moment - several moments, actually - but it was cool to see a musician brush off this stressful circumstance as gracefully and effortlessly as she did. I look forward to seeing her perform again, without all the glitches.