LIVE REVIEW: NAO Took Atlanta to the Stars on her Saturn Tour

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London-born talent NAO is shifting the way we view R & B. With a unique crossover sound the singer herself describes as “wonky funk”; NAO fuses emotion filled lyrics with syth beats in a beautiful mix that has gained her worldwide recognition. After the success of her debut album For All We Know, NAO, released her sophomore album, Saturn on October 26, 2018 to great excitement. In 2019 she and opener, Xavier Omar, embarked on the Saturn Tour, ending the US-leg in front of a sold-out crowd in Atlanta, Georgia.  

Xavier Omar is one of soul music’s hidden gems that continuously earns the shine he so greatly deserves. He effortlessly cruised through vocal runs all while leading the audience in a steady two-step to songs new and old. The Chicago-based singer, previously known as SPZRKT (“Spazzy Rocket”) fronted a talented band performing for a closely packed crowd at The Masquerade. His musical talent was expected, but Omar’s artistry far exceeds his soulful vocals, and includes a beautiful soul. He left the crowd with inspirational mementos on friendship, relationships, accountability, feminism, and self-esteem. Most notably focusing on women who “need the power that men already have.” Omar sounded nothing but genuine as he finished his speech, “You can’t allow someone to treat you lesser than what you are. Lesser than you aspire to be.” As he closed his set with hit “Blind Man” he left the stage to another impressive talent, NAO.

The stage background was decorated with white balloons, and large white letters spelling out N-A-O. A blue hue lit the stage, and string music played to signal the star’s arrival. The audience pulled out their phones waiting for the singer-songwriter to make an appearance up front. Suddenly she appeared in the middle of the crowd to sing the lead single, “Another Lifetime”. The crowd all but rushed NAO as she sang but her presence filled the room despite her small frame. Her live vocals matched, and at times exceeded, the raw intensity on recorded tracks. As the night continued, the crowd danced, sang, bobbed, and screamed along with every lyric only stopping as she told a short story of how the album and tour got its name.

“In the astrological world Saturn is in one place where you’re born, and it takes 29 years to come around again. It’s a place of lessons and growth. Your late 20’s are about leaving adolescence and growing, it’s very hard, but it’ll be worth it.”

It’s also worth seeing both Xavier Omar and NAO next time they perform live in your town. The Saturn Tour will make its way through Europe with an assortment of openers wrapping at the end of March in London. Check out my vlog below to see my full concert experience!

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