I was lucky enough to catch X Ambassadors on the last stop of their ORION tour, on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at the Hollywood Palladium. The band catered to a diverse crowd, of all ages and genders, playing a mix of old favorites from their debut album VHS and their most recent, Orion. They opened with their track, "HEY CHILD," showcasing Sam’s powerful vocals and the band’s bombastic energy. Without missing a beat, the band transitioned into one of their earliest hits, "Jungle." The crowd went wild as Sam leaped around the stage. The band then brought down the tempo, continuing their setlist with a few of their highly emotive songs like "Don’t Stay," "Ahead of Myself," and "RULE." After playing "OPTIMISTIC," a song written to address gun violence in America, Sam Harris took a moment to thank his wife, the crew, and crowd. He also took a second to acknowledge the band’s involvement in the writing and producing of Lizzo’s album Cuz I Love You, with the album bringing in a slew of Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year and Best Urban/Contemporary Album.
The band then transitioned into a short medley of some of their lesser played collaboration songs, "Home" (with Machine Gun Kelly and Bebe Rehxa), "American Oxygen" (with Rihanna), and "In Your Arms" (with ILLENIUM). Sam continued to show off his incredible range and voice with the ballads "HOLD YOU DOWN" and "Gorgeous," never failing to continue to dance around the stage with unparalleled and unwavering energy. The room fell completely silent when the light dimmed except for a spotlight on Casey, the keyboardist, who played a beautiful instrumental solo for the crowd, showcasing that being legally blind provided absolutely no hindrance to his jaw dropping talent. This transitioned the band into their two biggest hits "Unsteady" and "Renegades"—this time, the room sang so loudly you could barely hear Sam’s voice, a simple testament to the loyalty of the fans the band has built through the years. The band wrapped with “I DON’T KNOW HOW TO PRAY" and their beautiful ballad "Joyful," drawing the night to a close. X Ambassadors is a band I can never see too many times live, as beyond their sheer musical talent, they have an incredible talent for connecting with the crowd with their special energy. As that Wednesday night came to an end, the crowd left with tired vocal chords and full hearts.