Players: Omar Apollo – vocals, guitar; Oscar Santander – guitar; Manny Barajas – bass; Jackson Shanks – drums
Delivering gorgeous vocal artistry with his trademark swag and boundless energy, Omar Apollo performed for a capacity crowd and did not disappoint at his Greek Theatre stop. Apollo’s unmistakable sensual falsetto kicked things off with “Killing Me” as he showcased his vocal mastery, staying tightly connected to the audience, with his fans singing along and on their feet from the start. Moving into “Talk,” Apollo delivered a bouncy upbeat jam with funky guitar licks (the crowd clapping and stomping along) as he showcased his lower vocal range, before moving into the softer, moodier sounds of “Useless.” Follow-up “Ugotme” shared sultry vocals (and some serious Prince vibes) in a smooth slow jam that had the crowd singing and screaming along to his every word.
The magic of Apollo’s show lies not only in the unexpected combination of genres—including elements of rock, pop, punk, and even mariachi—but in his ability to connect deeply with his audience in a large, live setting, while somehow still unifying everyone in the space. His attendees spanned multiple languages, cultures, ages, and sexual orientations. Between the chanting, clapping, stomping, and singalong moments, the crowd was also quick to shift into dance-party mode on command for “Kickback,” followed quickly by traditional Mexican sing-along favorite, “En El Olvido,” with the majority in attendance feeling right at home and joining in on every word.
“Dos Uno Nueve (219)” followed with an instrumental guitar trio opening and more crowd engagement on the vocals, before the band broke into the sensual Latin sway of “Frio.” The booty jamming continued on “Highlight,” with the satisfied, happy crowd moving together and joining in on the choruses between Spanish rap inserts. Bopping and singing along on command again for “Endlessly,” the crowd proceeded to light up their phones and belted along to the guitar, synth magic, and gorgeous vocals of “Petrified,” before Apollo unleashed the incredible showmanship of “Invincible,” as he directed the crowd to sing the vocal intro.
He continued on—singing through power chant “Tamagotchi” and the funky, danceable, R&B-feeling “Kamikaze,” and yet another crowd sing-along with “Bad Life.” Syrupy pop jam “Hey Boy” switched things up a little with gentle guitar instrumental opening, while “Mr. Neighbor” brought back fabulous falsetto vocals and a wailing guitar solo. “Want U Around” brought back a smooth, authentic rock sound with a taffy-pulling chorus, before the show closed with crowd favorites, “Evergreen” and “Go Away.”
Leaving every ounce of himself on stage, Apollo’s humility and attention to detail was evident throughout the evening, between his incredible range and vocal detail, his use of the stage and body movement, the conversational interaction he used with his fans, in addition to his moment-to-moment observations of the vibe and venue surroundings. Apollo is a true gem of an artist.
Photo Credit: Nick Hernandez