If you’ve never been to the historic Belasco theater in downtown Los Angeles, you are certainly missing out. The venue set in the heart of downtown, witnessed fans seeking solace from the bone-chilling wind on Thursday night as they came out to share their evening with the X Ambassador’s. As you cross the threshold into the venue, it’s almost impossible to hold back a gasp as you take in the breathtaking architecture complete with elaborate gold crown molding, winding staircases, rich red carpeting and low mood lighting. Concert goers alike marveled at the glory of the venue while they enjoyed their libations from the multiple bars.
The evening started promptly at 8:00 pm with power pop artist, Fletcher. She walked onto stage will two French braids, fishnet stockings, large gold hoop earrings and a relaxed and easy vibe. She opened her set with her 2015 debut single, ‘War Paint’ which drew in the interest of the crowd immediately. The band played an 11-song set including a beautiful rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s, "True Colors." Fletcher took a moment to announce some new music and introduced a recently written song called, "If You’re Going To Lie," and performed if for the first time live for the Belasco theater. Fletcher closed her set with, "Wasted Youth" and the crowd broke for a 30-minute intermission.
At 9:15, lead singer Sam Harris and the rest of the X Ambassador crew graced the stage and were greeted with an enthusiastic roar from the crowd. The band opened with, "Ahead of Myself," a single from their second studio album, ‘JOYFUL’. A personal song, that the band has described as reflecting their journey as a band and the experiences they’ve encountered together and as individuals. The band then played a lively performance of "Jungle" with Sam breaking out the saxophone and a few epic jump shots with his guitar.
And as live shows go, things don’t always go according to plan and there was a slight malfunction with the drum kit which prompted the band to switch gears and the audience was given a special acoustic performance of "Litost," one of the band’s first ever songs to be written. In the meantime, the stage crew worked as quickly as possible to get the band up and going again and by the end of the song, the band was ready to take on the rest of their setlist.
They played a mix of new and old songs including, "Loveless," "Hang On," "Don’t Stay" and crowd favorite "Low Life." Sam then took to the front of the stage and revealed to the crowd that his brother, Casey Harris, had gotten married that very day and dedicated their next song, "RIP" to the newlyweds. Following that performance, Sam spoke candidly of his recent experience of losing touch with a close friend and the fear, hurt, and humbleness that he has experienced as a result.
Sam, once again took to the front of the stage to deliver a very powerful message about gun control and pledged his alliance with the teenagers across the nation who have been walking out to demand stricter gun laws. He dedicated their next song, "Unsteady" to all who had been affected by the recent mass shooting. The song was hauntingly beautiful and not one voice was lost as the entire venue sang in unison. Sam went on to tackle another important social issue that evening, inclusivity. Sam preached to the crowd about how it doesn’t matter what your religions is, what color your skin is, or who you choose to love, every person has value and that should always be respected, celebrated and valued. This was met with a loud round of applause as the band dived into ‘Renegades’ an anthem to those who have faced, and still face oppression.
The band finished out the evening with the song "Joyful" before one final encore song, "Gorgeous." X Ambassadors put on a truly exceptional and emotional performance complete with pitch-perfect vocals, wonderful stage production and deeply felt intimacy that leaves the crowd feeling humbled and satisfied. The band will be on a worldwide tour from now until June so make sure to check out their upcoming tour dates, this is one show you will not want to miss out on this year!