Written by Kharis Lund
The Showbox, dimly lit in signature red, felt more like a club and less like a concert venue as a diverse crowd swayed and dipped to the opening up-and-coming R&B duo THEY. The swell of people sent out some appreciative hollers when the beat dropped, but the impatience and anticipation for the main act was palpable. When Bryson Tiller finally made his entrance, rising out of a cloud of blue smoke (a potent mixture of dry ice and marijuana), the crowd lost it.
A ripe 23-year old, who skyrocketed to fame after his debut album hit this past October (though he’s been in the scene since his Trey Songz-esque mixtape Killer Instinct debut in 2011), Tiller gives off an incredibly grounded aura, directly at odds with his wild fan base and on-stage theatrics. Lights and smoke shroud Tiller as he tells the crowd-- in a voice that seems to suggest awe at his sudden rise to fame-- stories about being called up by Timbaland to go record an album and his freak-out-moment at meeting Drake in his crib.
What impresses me most about Tiller is the way that he commands the crowd. Whether it's his dripping, sultry vocals in 'Don’t', (which had couples grinding all up on each other on the dance floor feeling some kind of way) or the way he has the whole audience yell-singing the lyrics to Rambo-- this crooner’s voice and overall presence are undeniably electric. I can’t help but be taken in by it all; my hoarse voice wanes as I yell, “I know they want to see me fall, look where I am though/ On two feet, that's where I stand though!”