On another bitter cold night in NYC, Highline Ballroom provided plenty of heat for R&B fans on Wednesday. As the first show on their mini tour, Luke James and BJ the Chicago Kid brought their soulful talents to the stage, and delivered riveting sets for the packed crowd.
Expected on the bill, but due to illness rising singer George Tandy Jr. was unable to perform. As the stand alone opening act, NYC native and buzz-worthy singer/songwriter, Ro James, delighted the crowd, of previous fans and new, with his unique tone and charisma.
BJ was up next, and he went right into his set with covers and originals, including his buzzed about remake of Fabolous and Jeremih’s “Thim Slick.” Promoting his recently released mixtape “The M.A.F.E. Project,” BJ showed why he is one of R&B/Soul’s most exciting up and comers with his song, “Soul of a Woman,” and in closing he had the crowd singing along to his Grammy nominated collaboration with SchoolBoy Q, “Studio.”
Anyone that’s been to a Luke James show knows that he is one of the best in the business live, right up against veterans, the 2x Grammy nominated crooner exudes poise and showmanship. Opening with uptempos from his self-titled debut album, including “Love XYZ” and “Dancing In The Dark,” Luke performed many of his album cuts for the first time and past fan favorites from his previous EPs.
Some of his standout moments came from covers as well, including a new hard knocking remake of “Sexual Healing,” which he segued into a cover of Rae Sremmurd’s club hit “No Type,” sending the crowd into full turn-up mode. He surprised with a cover of Carl Thomas’ “I Wish,” and debuted his brand new song “Bad News.” Proving why his records resonate so well with fans, Luke delivered an outstanding live version of his single “Exit Wounds,” getting the whole audience to put their middle finger in the air and scream ‘F U’ to anyone who ever broke their heart. He closed with his Grammy nominated songs “Options,” and the now classic “I Want You.”
Another great night for R&B in NYC. Check out our exclusive photo recap below!