SHOW REVIEW: Khalid
“I’m not sure if I’m a free spirit yet.”
Khalid had left the stage for a moment, pausing to play a short narration to the crowd—a reflection that ended:
“But when I know, I’ll tell you.”
On a Friday night, there weren’t many places better to be than the Oracle Arena. He graced the stage with his signature dance moves, carefree smile, and stool for the slower songs. With a setlist full to the brim, Khalid demanded his audience’s attention for every single one of the 29 songs. From “Free Spirit”—the title track of his most recent release, the tour’s namesake, and his opening track—to “Saturday Nights”—his last one of the night—the crowd was with him the entire way.
The crowd only seemed to get louder as the night progressed, and Khalid graciously acknowledged, remarking, “So far, you guys are the loudest.” Being the loudest doesn’t seem like much of an achievement, as this was only the 5th date of his tour. But the Oracle crowd earned it. Screaming along to his most popular songs, such as “Location”, “Young, Dumb, & Broke”, and “Talk”, every person in that arena made sure that they would be heard on the street.
With backup dancers by his side, Khalid captivated his audience as he pointed, waved, and danced with his fans. In true Free Spirit fashion, the crowd let loose, had fun, and danced away; Khalid was the night’s soundtrack.
Even during the slower songs that Khalid performed, such as “Heaven” or “Self”, he made it hard to look away. With a waterfall-esque curtain of threads surrounding the stage and colorful visuals behind him, it made for a beautiful break from the catchy, upbeat songs.
With a nice mix of songs from his first album, American Teen, and his most recent, as well as his notable features “Silence” with Marshmello, “Eastside” with Benny Blanco and Halsey, and “Love Lies” with Normani, Khalid catered to all members of his audience. He put on a show that all 20,000 fans won’t forget.
At the end of the night, friends, couples, and families alike were dancing in their seats and across the general admission floor. Though everyone in the audience could have watched him for another couple hours, he wrapped up his show with a bang. The crowd seemed to know it was the last song, singing along just as loudly as they had the entire show. Without an encore, but donning a huge smile, Khalid finished up “Saturday Nights”, took a bow with his dancers, and then he was gone.
Khalid is still making his way through the U.S., and if you’re an international fan, don’t worry—he begins his European leg in September and his Australian leg in November. Oakland had a great time dancing with Khalid, as everyone attempted to find the free spirit within.