I wasn’t planning on writing a review for Frank Ocean at the Commodore this past Saturday. However, after a few unfavourable, (and unjust), reviews started popping up on the World Wide Web I thought this was necessary.
Let me start off by saying this; who Frankie is fucking or rather not fucking should not enter the conversation of his artistic achievements. While I understand the notion of celebrity and living in the public eye, good music cannot be defined by race, sexuality, or gender. Moreover, Frank Ocean is in a genre all his own. He’s given R/B a much needed facelift by opting to tell his own story without any vocal aids from a high profile rapper. Alright, now onto the review.
I was first introduced to Ocean’s remarkable talents almost two years ago. A friend sent me We All Try via twitter and I instantly fell in love with the voice coming through my headphones. Needless to say, I was more than a little excited/nervous/anxious for his first Vancouver solo performance.
Although I waited over an hour for Ocean to finally perform, all but was forgotten when he graced the stage with his signature white-and-red bandana and an orange tie-dye t-shirt. He looked content, almost as if he knew that with every song he was going to prove the homophonic haters wrong.
By the third song Ocean had a sold-out Commodore hooked. As the opening vocals for Thinkin Bout You filled the venue, the chronic haze was almost as intense as everyone’s musical goosebumps. The crowd quickly fell silent as we watched Ocean hit every note, making both the girls and boys swoon with envy.
Ocean’s relatively small set included all my favourites off Channel Orange, including Forrest Gump, Bad Religion, and the previously mentioned Thinkin Bout You. He also included Novacane, Strawberry Swing, and American Wedding from Nostalgia, Ultra. In-between songs Ocean was sure to thank the crowd for supporting him through this difficult time. And while he didn’t directly mention his “coming out”, it wasn’t necessary, as his music said it all.
Review by @clarkbs