A 22-year-old singer-songwriter from Canada, absolutely captivated a sold-out crowd Sunday night at The Enmore Theatre in Sydney.
Caesar, an impeccable vocalist, started singing at a young age and uses narratives in his personal life to create expressive lyrics about love, loss, faith and bravery. It wouldn’t be right to just box his music into just one genre, as it’s clear that his inspiration ranges from R&B, soul, rock and gospel.
In the country for his debut Australian tour selling out all three dates in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, the Toronto native launched his musical career in 2014, releasing R&B & soul songs bathed in ambient electronics. He rose to fame after the release of his EP “Praise Break” in 2014, followed by “Pilgrim’s Paradise” in 2015.
In August 2017, Caesar released his soulful debut album “Freudian”, which is the record he chose to showcase his performance predominantly on, not that we minded one bit.
Covering the support slot was fellow Toronto artist/DJ Do Not Push who amped up the crowd with a mix full of both modern day hip-hop hits and old skool classics from such artists as Bruno Mars, Destiny’s Child, TLC, Kanye West, and a whole lot of Drake just to keep that Canadian sea of talent bursting at the seams in The Enmore.
Shortly after 9:30pm, Caesar‘s band hopped up onto the stage and started to play the intro to ‘Japanese Denim,’ which had the crowd singing along to the lyrics, “My blue jeans will last me all my life, so should we / I’m spending all this time.”
Second song in and Caesar sat down on a stool to play – quite possibly my favourite song from “Freudian” – ‘Best Part’ which of course had the crowd cheering and singing along to the part originally sung by H.E.R, with Caesar practically spoon feeding us the lyrics, not that anyone needed the assistance.
Performing for approximately an hour, the crowd was singing along to practically every song during his set which also included ‘Death & Taxes’, ‘Hold Me Down’, ‘Take Me Away’, ‘West’ (a delicate and moving River Tibet cover he dedicated to his brother), ‘We Find Love’ and ‘Blessed’.
We may only be three months into the year, but 2018 has been the year for some of the best live performances in Australia and Daniel Caesar‘s performance in Sydney that evening was no exception. He was absolutely breathtaking, sounding exactly like his records, perhaps even better. Caesar‘s falsetto and harmonies were flawless, allowing the audience to hear the depth in his lyrics as they sang along to every word.
Returning to the stage for a one-song encore, as the band played the opening notes of ‘Get You’, all Caesar needed to do was point the microphone to the crowd and we all started singing:
Through drought and famine, natural disasters
My baby has been around for me
Kingdoms have fallen, angels be calling
None of that could ever make me leave
Every time I look into your eyes I see it
You’re all I need
Every time I get a bit inside I feel it
Ooh, who could’ve thought I’d get you
Ooh, who would’ve thought I’d get you
It was actually a beautiful moment shared between Sydney and Daniel Caesar. Let’s hope he doesn’t wait too long to return to our shores.
18 March 2018
The Enmore Theatre