I arrived at the Capitol Theater a few minutes before the gates opened. I was pleasantly surprised at the long queue and the sold-out tickets. I didn’t know many people listened to Lewis Capaldi outside of “Someone You Loved” and “Hold Me While You Wait.” But this was a good omen. I will be around people who were passionate about his music. The interaction between him and the crowd will be great.
Lewis Capaldi opened with “Grace.” Immediately, his voice blew me away. No doubt that it is his biggest asset. I won’t pretend to know the technical details of his range and tone. I’m sure they’re impressive. What strikes me is its depth. It cuts through to my senses on a visceral level. The pain and sorrow he conveys just leaves me in a vulnerable place. And when I gaze around the hall, everyone else was as moved and mesmerized as I was.
At some point, I felt sorry for his band. He could’ve done without most of them. All he needed was an acoustic guitar (which he could play himself) and an occasional keyboard in his most stripped-down tracks. I distinctly remember “Headspace” playing. Much of the production was unnecessary. It served to dilute the song’s sentiment instead of elevating it.
In between songs, Lewis Capaldi showed a side of himself that I don’t encounter in his music. He was playful, engaging, and full of humor. I admire him for not being above making fun of himself, wearing bunny ear costumes, and shutter glasses. He gave a 14-year-old birthday girl a birthday shout out and a meaningful, funny but dark life advice. And he gave off to the crowd were good vibes, at least before he shifted back to his singing.
If I had to nitpick, I would’ve appreciated Lewis Capaldi singing more songs. The setlist spanned 11 songs. While I understand he’s released only one album, he could’ve maximized all 15 tracks of his debut LP. He also had the option of performing an obscure unreleased material or doing covers of other artists.
He shrugged off a suggestion from the audience to do “Wonderwall.” I agree there are more inspired choices. But in hindsight, that would’ve been better than nothing.
Overall, the concert was value for money. After watching Lewis Capaldi’s show, he’s not someone I loved. There’s no need to hold me. I will wait for his next.