Kali Uchis Puts Radio City Music Hall Under Her Spell at Sold-Out Show
A pink moon shone bright over three archways flanked by stairs bathed in colored light. From stage-right, old Hollywood feathers covered the woman of the hour, carried onstage by her dancers á la Cleopatra. A dancer came out, announcing the arrival of “La divina Kali Uchis.”
The feathers parted, and the spotlight turned to Uchis, a monochrome red vision in a long-sleeved top paired with thigh-high heeled boots and a short skirt. Greeted by a shrieking crowd, she boldly kicked the night off with “telepatía.”
These daring statements — an entrance worthy of a vintage showgirl, the underlying mysticism, an abundance of dancers in place of a band, kicking off the night with her biggest hit rather than saving it for last — defined Kali Uchis’ Red Moon in Venus Tour stops in New York City. The two sold-out nights at Radio City Music Hall coincided with the full moon eclipse in Scorpio — Uchis, dripping glamor, understood the cosmic assignment.
After “telepatía”, Uchis’ set smoldered. With the TikTok hit that finally got her much-deserved mainstream breakout of the way, the stage was set for a night devoted to her longtime fans. Throughout, Uchis embodied all of her multiplicities: the indie R&B siren, the hypnotic house diva of Kaytranada’s “10%”.
A crucial midpoint for Latinx fans: a dembow perreito that saw her channel legends of El Movimiento like Plan B, Don Omar, and reggae en español originator El General while also highlighting Panamanian artist Lorna’s genre classic “Papi Chulo… Te Traigo El Mmmm”.
The two evenings, down to the seemingly perfect astrological planning of it all, were as opulent as the legendary Art Deco room she was playing. Between swaying, singing, and interacting with her dancers (at one point, they became a throne for her to sit on while addressing fans), Uchis gave a polished and elegant performance.
As she veered into songs from Red Moon in Venus with a few surprises thrown in — Por Vida fans got treated to dreamy performances of “Melting” and “Loner” and a sensual rendition of “Speed” heavy on strobe lights, and Isolation lovers danced to “After the Storm” near the end — it was notable how level the energy was even as she veered between R&B, dembow, slow jams, and hip-hop. She even stopped midway to give fans water, and peppered performances with moving speeches about following your intuition and dreams despite other’s opinions.
She ended the red nights with Red Moon-standout “Blue.” Amid Sade-esque vocal runs and the sound of saxophone, she closed out the cycle before once again being carried off by attendants hidden behind feathers. A regal ending to two silky evenings — what else could we expect from a cosmic queen?