Less than a year ago Miguel released his debut album All I Want is You, and joined Mary J. Blige and Usher as a opening act on their ‘OMG’ and ‘Stronger With Each Tear’ tours.
Now, Miguel is showing that he is more than just a opening act for big named performers like Usher and Blige with a co-headlining performance along with fellow newcomer Jason Derulo for AT&T’s kickoff for their ‘Music For You’ summer concert series at Webster Hall in New York City.
Hundreds of fans who won tickets to see Miguel and Jason Derulo perform packed into the 1,400 venue on June 17th, waiting to see what type of energy the performers would bring. And the two young men didn't disappoint, because by the end of the show the floor was literally rocking.
Before Miguel even hit the stage, fans were drawn to the guitar riffs from the singer’s band. Making his grand entrance to the beat of "Pay Me," Miguel ran out on stage with James Brown-infused energy, sliding back and forth smoothly before launching into the song completely. From Miguel’s set it was very evident that he was channeling elements of artists who have inspired him such as Prince, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Freddie Mercury and David Bowie.
Although Miguel may have only released one album, he managed to throw in some variety by performing covers of others songs including Adele’s "Rolling in the Deep," Kanye’s "All of the Lights" and Prince’s "Little Red Corvette." For "Rolling in the Deep," Miguel added his own flavor to the track by singing the song in a much higher pitch than fans were used to hearing in other versions. It threw fans off at first, but once they recognized what song he was covering, his fans began singing along with him.
Miguel did take some time out to connect with the audience including asking if there was anyone from his hometown of Los Angeles in the audience to which a group of men from L.A. in the audience jumped up with hands raised in the air. He also showed his human side by reaching down to tie his shoe, and addressing the audience saying something to the effect of ‘I bet you’ve never seen a performer tie their shoe onstage before.’
Human being or not, the crowd soon became anxious to hear the singer perform #1 R&B hit "Sure Thing," which Miguel saved for last as he closed his set to thunderous applause.
While Miguel’s setup reflected a sort of small rock band, Derulo abandoned the use of a band in order to allow for more of a focus on his choreography, which was a mix of street dance style moves and carefully calculated Michael Jacksonesque steps. His signature handstands also made several appearances.
In terms of his vocals, Derulo never sounded out of breath, when compared to the nonstop hard dancing he was doing. Although Derulo’s pitch sounded mechanical at times, it didn’t distract from the performance.
Derulo’s connection with his fans in the audience also felt genuine. Whether it was extending his arm out to shake hands with fans close to the stage or ripping off his shirt and tossing it into the audience for a female fan to catch, Jason showed he was paying attention to the crowd.
Before performing his song ‘Ridin Solo’ from his self-titled debut, Jason proudly exclaimed that the women who weren’t ‘solo’ would probably be solo for the night by the end of the song, which had the women in the audience singing along the words as Derulo danced with a female dancer on-stage.
Although Derulo will soon be releasing his sophomore album Future History, there were no new tracks from the album that haven’t already been heard performed. He stuck with performing mostly hits from his first album such as "In My Head," and "Whatcha Say." However, Jason did close with a somewhat extended version of his latest song from his upcoming album ‘Don’t Want To Go Home’, which was a climactic conclusion to the club atmosphere that the song reflects.