Miguel Takes NYC: The Wildheart Tour Experience

Photo Courtesy of officialmiguel.com

Photo Courtesy of officialmiguel.com

If I wasn’t a fan of Miguel’s before, I am now!  Admittedly, I haven’t fully gotten into his latest album, Wildheart, yet.  I have, however, bopped to each and every one of his singles since his debut in 2010.  This summer, I made it a goal of mine to attend as many concerts as possible, so when the Wildheart Tour popped up on my Ticketmaster app, I purchased and I’m glad I did.  The concert took place on August 2, 2015 at Terminal 5, located on the west side of Manhattan.  This intimate three-tiered concert space seemed to be the perfect scene for the R&B singer’s set.  It was standing room only, and because of the small size of the building, there was no bad “seat” in the house.  Because of who I am as a person [insert bourgeois joke here], I paid a little extra money for VIP access, which included a gift bag, and early entry for the show.  Thus, I was able to get pretty close to the stage before the general population was allowed entry.

Preceded by his opening act, Dorothy, Miguel took the stage donning an all-white ensemble including a feathered leather jacket and mustard-colored boots.  His microphone stand was covered in white fringed material of some sort, and the stage consisted of nothing aside from his band and a backdrop that displayed digital graphics throughout the two-hour show.  Though he had a number of wardrobe changes, he stuck to the theme of all white.

Photo Courtesy of officialmiguel.com

The rock star, recently known for his infamous leg drop, had an interactive high-energy show from beginning to end.  There were no other artist cameos, background singers, dancers, or anything else to provide Miguel with a break during his set, and honestly, they weren’t needed.  He held his own for the entire concert.  There were many (and I mean many) moments where he was dropping into the splits, falling to his knees, and executing very…suggestive…moves.  He even crowd-surfed at one point, and successfully made his way back to the stage with the assistance of a very excited yet cooperative crowd.  It should be noted that he was sure to explicitly warn the audience that we was about to crowd-surf, though.  I guess he was making sure to avoid catching anyone off guard, and in turn avoiding any possible law suits.

Let’s get on into his vocals, though.  Everything seems so effortless.  Being able to switch between the smooth sounds of his R&B ballads to the harsh vocal display in his rock songs is no easy feat.  I like to consider myself musically inclined.  It is actually pretty hard for me to enjoy many performances (especially that of church choirs) because I focus too much the vocalists’ ability to stay in key.  This was not an issue at this show.  There is no doubt that Miguel is not “just a studio singer.”  He proved to be a bona fide all-encompassing performer who can perform his hits on stage better than they were recorded on his albums.

Why conform to someone else’s ideas of what you should be? ... Society will tell you that normal is one thing, and I don’t believe that. F— normality. Normality is what you think it is. It’s about your perspective, curating your life, understand?
— Miguel

Aside from his catalogue of songs, the Grammy winner spent time connecting with this audience with a number of free-thinking sessions.  These sermonettes centered around the theme of individuality, being yourself and free-spiritedness.  "Believe in yourself enough to ignore all the bullsh*t, and I promise you, you'll be happy — and we need more happy people in this world."  For many in attendance, including myself, these words of affirmation seemed to hit home.  I had to look around and say to myself, “Wait, I’m here to see a performance.  I didn’t know I was about to have my soul ministered to.“  I wasn’t mad at it, though.  He also had a moment of transparency in the middle of his “What’s  Normal Anyway” track, where he discussed his struggle with being biracial while growing up.  Ironically, he flexed his Spanish-speaking skills during this portion of the show.

His ability to perform a show on his own that displayed his vocal prowess, agility, level of “wokeness”, along with being relatable is what really won me over.  He is a true talent that doesn’t need to rely on the use of gimmicks, what’s on trend, or a heavily-involved team to move his career forward.  When I think of Miguel, one word comes to mind – longevity.

Set List

1.       "The Thrill"

2.       "Simplethings"

3.       "Sure Thing"

4.       "No Type"

5.       "face the sun"

6.       "...goingtohell"

7.       "Hollywood Dreams"

8.       "Girls Like You"

9.       "P**** Is Mine"

10.   "FLESH"

11.   "coffee"

12.   "leaves"

13.   "waves"

14.   "I Get Around"

15.   "Quickie"

16.   "How Many Drinks?" / "Swimming Pools (Drank)"

17.   "Adorn"