On December 19th, Brother Ali brought his Shadows on the Sun tour to the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix for what can only be considered proof that debut albums don’t die with time, but become the basis on which an artist builds their career. Brother Ali’s show was intimate, explosive, and totally timeless. I think partly due to the small size of the venue, the show had a very unique atmosphere that reminded me of going to a house show, where most people know the artist and each other as well. Originally not planning on going to this show, and not knowing much about it or Brother Ali until right before, this show was unlike anything I expected.
First, this is Brother Ali’s Shadows on the Sun tour, a 15th anniversary tour commemorating the release of his debut album, Shadows on the Sun. Brother Ali rapped the entire album start to end. He didn’t even have new music out to perform (except his single “Sensitive”). This only added to the intimacy and timelessness of the concert as most the fans still knew the words to every single song. In fact, in this photo you can see a very eager fan looking directly at Brother Ali. He knew the words to EVERY single song on the album. What was cool was that since it was an anniversary tour, you knew that the fans had made memories or emotional connections to the songs based on past selves/events and their reflections were alive in the atmosphere of the small venue.
Overall, the musicality of the concert was really good. I thought DJ Last Word was great because he didn’t just play typical edm music, and mixed his own stuff right there on stage. Brother Ali was extremely professional about his music and performing. You could tell he leaves his heart out on the stage. For someone who didn’t know too much about Brother Ali, I am really glad I went and got to see him live, it was a “really cool concert” (my description to whoever asked me about it after). Something I learned that night: Brother Ali was not originally planning to come to Arizona on his tour, but after Phoenix folks found this out, they got so angry with him that Brother Ali booked the Crescent Ballroom to appease them. I think that story explains the relationship Brother Ali has with his fans and music, and his performance, pretty well.