By Jared Allen
July 8, 2018
Sam Smith, the four-time Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter rose from the center of his dimly lit stage in a seated armchair, hunched over as if weighed down by his somber songs under one bright strobe light. As he sat relatively still, crooning into his microphone, the near sold-out Spectrum Center rose to its feet. It’s where they’d stay for the remainder of Smith’s 21-song set that included both the hits and a slew of deep cuts.
The Thrill Of It All tour didn’t involve all the glitz and glam that’s often associated with big time pop icons and arena shows. Then again, Smith didn’t need it. His broad voice filled the arena and never once would it have felt fitting for any sort of lavish production to support him. He walked the narrow stage in a salmon-colored suit while belting the well-known lyrics to songs like “I’m Not The Only One” and “Lay Me Down.” He even covered two Disclosure tracks, “Omen” and “Latch,” the latter of which being the song that helped him rise to fame.
As the night progressed, Smith looked more and more at home in the Queen City. The spirit in the room elevated in the second half of the set with tender tunes such as “Midnight Train” and “Too Good at Goodbyes.” Smith’s backing vocalists added life to the performance throughout and their support provided a depth to the overall show.
Although she’s not a backing vocalist, opener Cam joined Smith on stage at the end of the night for the duo’s rendition of “Palace,” a song she wrote for him. Smith stood at the top of a golden spiral staircase that anchored the stage and shared the lyrics with Cam, who stood at opposite point of the triangular shaped platform.
The song led into Smith’s final two ballads, “Stay With Me” and “Pray,” both of which kept the crowd from heading to their cars early. Both songs packed an emotional punch and confetti rained from the ceiling during the former. During “Pray,” Smith sank back into his nondescript armchair and exited the stage through the floor, the same way he entered.
Check out the remaining 2018 Sam Smith tour dates.