Review and Photos by Danielle Boise
“Damn, you all sound so good tonight.” Charlie Puth
The multi-talented musical mastermind, producer and songwriter extraordinary, Charlie Puth is blowing up the pop music scene right now with his own specialty blend of poppy soulfulness. Breaking into the charts with collaborations like 2015’s “Marvin Gaye” featuring Meghan Trainer and “We Don’t Talk Anymore” with Selena Gomez. Puth is who everyone is not only talking about but also excited to see; as proof with his sold out Nine Track Mind 2016 North American Tour, that kicked off March 3 in San Francisco and ends April 23 at Utah State University in Logan.
The “One Call Away” crooner, made a stop at Atlanta’s Terminal West on Monday, March 14 to start the week off with bang in support of his debut album, Nine Track Mind, with special guests, Phoebe Ryan and Sophie Beem. These three dynamic acts brought the venue to its knees – from start to finish, fans cheered and danced the night away, as they had the time of their lives soaking up all the pop-fueled magic in the air.
Starting the night off, the X Factor 2012 alum, Sophie Beems’ powerful voice resonated with each note, and her connectivity to the audience was authentic and pure. The “I Got It” singer set the pace and mood for the evening with power and conviction. Beem was an utter surprise to me, as she shyly took to the stage to sit behind a keyboard bathed in blue light to become this vulnerable, exposed artist with a personal song about learning to loving one’s enemies because they do not love themselves. Beems’ vocal stylings for the song blended together hints of Paloma Faith with a bit of Lana Del Ray to create an extremely raw experience.
Once that song was over, the “I Got It” singer turned things on their head and into a dance party, with two backup dancers for the remainder of her set, as Beem sung “Skyline” off her self-title EP and covered Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” with a mashup to The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” to perfectly timed choreographed dance moves. As Beyoncé’s prodigy, Beem has the attitude, sass, and vocal chops to pull it off, and she pulls it off well. Even though she was only on stage for a 25-minute set, she was honest, real and connected with the audience. Truly being part of every second and appreciating it to the core.
Beem was followed up by Columbia Recording artist, Phoebe Ryan who was wonderfully enchanting with a hippy-dippy transcendent vibe that made you simply fall in love with her. Ryan was as much in love with the audience as the audience was in love with her. Ryan’s song about self-destructive behavior, off her first EP Mine, “Homey” was a beautiful, sad truth about heartbreak on both sides; yet still needing a physical connection to another human being, even if only for a little while in the midst of not wanting to be defined by a label.
Ryan also sung “We Won’t” that she co-wrote with James Young off her latest album, Chronic. Ryan then followed that up with a fun cover: R. Kelly’s “Ignition” mashed up Miguel’s “Do You Like Drugs,” which was an utter blast. “Be Real” was truly real, but the final song, “Mine,” was a beyond powerful, feminist message about self-love, acceptance and finding empowerment in one’s own character. It’s a great message song that ended Ryan’s set on the perfect note.
At two minutes to go before Charlie Puth took the Terminal West stage, the anticipation built with fans chanting “Charlie, Charlie, Charlie” echoing throughout the venue. That then turned into a maddening roar that burst into unadulterated screams of delight and glee as an unassuming Puth finally took the stage to sit down behind his piano to belt out the soulful “Marvin Gaye,” followed by the chilling “Dangerously.”
For me, there is always a moment in any given show where the artist connects with the audience, and that was when Puth opened up about how he was mid-anxiety attack as he wrote “Losing My Mind.” That one moment of truth allowed for a sincere connection as a human being, more than a personality or an artist, but a real person who was opening up and exposing himself to an audience of fans who could find their own truths within that context.
If you are one of the lucky few who have tickets to see Charlie Puth on his completely sold-out Nine Track Mind tour, consider yourself lucky. It’s like getting the golden ticket; you are in for a treat, and it’s a delicious one. Go, enjoy and have fun. Dance, sing, and have a great time because Puth knows how to put on a show; and this is a show you want to not only see but also join in on the dance party. It’s time to for everyone board the Charlie train.
For images from Charlie Puth’s Sold Out Nine Track Mind Tour at Terminal West in Atlanta, click here.