Five months on from my review of her sophomore album, Saturn and I was finally able to see the neo-soul icon full of energy live and in the flesh at Leeds Beckett Union.
The evening shot off with NAO somehow rising from the centre of the crowd (this still baffles me as to how this was done, I need an explanation), clad in shining jumpsuit instantly enchanting the audience with the album’s opening track ‘Another Lifetime’ managing to get every member of the crowd to attempt to hit those high notes despite it not being humanly possible to do so.
Her performance only improved from there on out, bouncing around the stage, NAO played tunes from the new album, the classics from For All We Know and her singles with Mura Masa (‘Complicated’ and ‘Firefly’) with the crowd providing the backing chorus equally as loud as the band.
A stand-out moment was when NAO explained the influence of ‘Brown Sugar’ by D’Angelo on ‘Inhale Exhale’ consequently seamlessly switching between songs multiple times to the audience’s delight.
When I say she was full of energy I mean she was on a level that when she took a break for a short monologue, it was genuinely strange to see her not body popping to every end of the stage or donning a hand fan and silk sheet in her angelic fashion.
This being said, the show was the perfect balance between calm and emotional and loud and rowdy and was rounded off beautifully by the double encore of ‘Drive and Disconnect’ and ‘Bad Blood’ with deafening encore screams in-between.
All in all, the whole performance was simply an extremely happy affair with people not even wanting to leave afterwards just to get down to the throwback tunes playing after the show ended.
Thank you for having us NAO, the pleasure was all ours.
Header Image Credit: Facebook