Written By Judith Feenstra
When one goes to a Tinashe live show, one goes for the sexy. This 23-year old LA singer/songstress has been a staple in the clubby R&B scene for a couple years now and took to the flashing Showbox SoDo stage with extreme ease and maximum SEXY—accompanied by a perfectly in-sync team of four female dancers behind her. Now, mama can belt out her melodies for sure, but it was obvious that her live show revolved mainly around strobe-lights, outfit changes, chiseled abs, and oh, don’t let me forget—MAMA CAN DANCE.
Opening the show with the Metro Boomin produced “Ride of Your Life”—the first single of her yet-to-be-debuted sophomore album Joyride, the room’s loungy club vibe slowly fit the sway of the crowd. A quick transition into the slow, thick, bass-heavy “Party Favors” Tinashe’s vocals are soft and light layered over deep, druggy beats—while she is definitely singing the melodies, the backtrack behind her allows for her to focus on the dancing and interaction with the crowd—which was NOT a problem for anyone watching. Sporting a skin-hugging, meshed lace body suit topped with baggy military fit pants, Tinashe is making a successful play for the role of her generation’s Janet Jackson, a noted and clear influence.
This artist’s music is almost an aphrodisiac over the crowd; paired with lusty and smooth production, the nostalgic 90’s vibe, the experimental R&B, she can’t miss. Slowing the show down with a near-a capella cover mashup of Janet Jackson’s “That’s the Way Love Goes” and Selena Gomez’s “Same Old Love”, the songstress had a quick wardrobe change, emerged in a sheer… well everything… and sent us straight into “Fires and Flames” sung from a single stool at the foot of the stage—a very intimate moment of the night. Tinashe left the stage for a moment and her dancers all had a spotlight of their individual dance styles and the audience ate it up—it was lit.
“All Hands on Deck” brings the crowd back to max energy and a very complicated chair routine integrated into her choreography essentially brought me to tears. She closes her set with the perfect Friday-night anthem, “All My Friends (Feat. Chance the Rapper)” and jumped down past the barricade to interact with the crowd, waving her arms back and forth to the beat and encouraging everyone to sing along. A pregnant pause after she exits the stage allows for the necessary bit of anticipation towards the obvious choice for an encore, her smash hit, “2 On”. The first five notes hit the speakers and DJ Mustard, in spirit, brings the crowd into a frenzy—a stunning end for Tinashe’s visit to Seattle.
While Tinashe’s sophomore album Joyride has yet to be released, considering that she just cancelled the rest of her Joyride World Tour, here’s hoping we get this record sooner than later. For now, Aquarius and her shareworthy mixtapes can be found all over the place.
Opener Blackbear—an LA R&B/hip hop singer (also the dude who co-wrote Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend”), gave an uninspiring performance despite his great drummer and decent production. There was booze and there was a sad cover of A$AP Mob’s “Hella Hoes”—hard to sing along to that one. If you think Mike Posner or G Eazy are great artists and cool guys then you would probably also like this guy.