Last Tuesday, LA-based RnB group Moonchild brought their critically acclaimed 2021 album Starfruit to life to a sold-out crowd at Birmingham, AL’s Saturn, creating a perfect atmosphere for their ethereal, vibey sound to exist within. The band’s tour has been on the books for a while now, and it was clear between the audience’s excitement and the professional yet loose joy of the band that their return to the Magic City was long-awaited. The band took the stage to Starfruit’s “What You Wanted”, and from there it was a jazzy and soulful night that saw the band weave in and out of their discography. Lead singer Amber Navran’s voice was impeccable — it was mesmerizing to see her hit everything as perfectly as she does on record, and the duo of Max Bryk and Ambris Mattson (along with touring drummer Efa Etorama Jr.) created a thrilling soundscape for the world of Starfruit to reside in. A serious highlight of the set came when the band pared down to play a medley of songs from their epic album Voyager that found the band switching off between instruments to fully show off their polymathic abilities. With a showing like this, we hope that they decide to drop in again soon.
Openers Austin Antoine and Sofiya Ballin took the show in two other directions, and both were interesting and thrilling. Antoine’s set was incredibly euphoric as the former Alabama native took the audience through an uplifting journey fueled by family and a conquering of hard circumstances that blended poetry and hip hop — I can confidently say that it was one of the best crowd-working sets I’ve ever seen in that room, and I can vouch that Antoine is going to be a star. Sofiya Ballin’s set was not a set of music at all; instead, the acclaimed journalist took the time to interview Dr. Nadia Richardson, the founder of the Birmingham-based mental health nonprofit No More Martyrs. It was an impressive display of community from all parties involved, and Moonchild and co.’s commitment to inclusion and education is absolutely commendable. Check out all of our photos from the night below, and check out Moonchild’s remaining tour dates here.