By Bruna Rosario
23 Sep, 2019
Lincoln Hall’s small, intimate setting fit Mahalia’s fresh soul-pop vibe perfectly. Bathed in a blend of pink, purple and blue-ish lights, and wearing a plain beige-y t-shirt, the British singer-songwriter’s head-on confidence reverberated through her mellow, yet firm, voice.
As the lights went up following groovy and soulful bass sounds, she sauntered her way to the stage asking, “Are you feeling this?” The crowd reacted in screams filling the entire room, and Mahalia giggled and started dancing to the first notes of “Good Company.”
There was a clear, and virtually visible, energetic connection between Mahalia and the crowd. In fact, it didn’t feel as if we were in a venue whatsoever; she was able to create such an environment of intimacy, easiness and simplicity that brought each and every attendee closer to her. She did so not only by conveying her comfort in her skin and seeming to be having the time of her life, but also by interacting with her fans. A LOT. Which felt surprisingly organic, and never dull.
To me, it’s always a bit disappointing when musicians don’t stop in between songs once in a while; it feels too impersonal — unless the band is so technically sharp that you forget about anything else other than the pleasing sensation in your ears. Mahalia did both. She delivered a fascinating AND an up-close and personal performance. From time to time, she would tell us the stories behind her compositions, which ranged from being ghosted by a love interest (“Sober”) to declaring her mom as her favorite dance partner (“Consistency”).
One of the highlights of the night was when Mahalia brought up “Molly,” her first acoustic guitar, which has been accompanying her journey through the music industry since she was thirteen years old. She described it as her armor, and as an important asset for us to “see her truth and authenticity.”
My favorite part of her concert, though, was during “Regular People.” As Mahalia sang “put your hands up if you love your body, put your hands up if you love your mommy, put your hands up if you love your skin,” and the crowd came together in a synchronized feeling of self-love, comfort, and happiness.