Words by: DJ
Photos by: Riley
Xavier Omӓr brought a special hue of lightning to downtown Portland’s Star Theatre this past Tuesday. The Texas native was in town for his “Pink Lightning” tour and brought with him midwestern artist pinkcaravan! and duo Iris Temple. Portland was the third to last stop on Omӓr’s tour, but it was hard to tell due to the energy he and the openers brought to the stage.
The first opener was pinkcaravan! The St. Louis native hit the stage draped in a long sleeve airbrushed tall tee, some nylon windbreaker pants, and a crispy pair of white Air Force Ones. I wasn’t hip to pinkcaravan! prior, but the more I heard her effortlessly flow in and out bars of poetry, the more my ears perked up. pinkcaravan! ‘s most notable hit, “pop, lock & lemon drops” left a palatable impression on the crowd as she left. I have a feeling she won’t a small name for long.
The openers before Omӓr hit the stage was Chicago duo Iris Temple. Composed of guitarist/vocalist Quinn Cochran and vocalist Aura, the duo certainly set the tone and successfully prepared the crowd for Omӓr. With such smooth vocals accompanied by face melting guitar solos and smooth transition back to R&B, the crowd was mesmerized by the duo’s pipes and shredding skill. Iris Temple left newfound fans with their latest release, “Ashes”. Cochran also assisted Omӓr in bringing the down the house with his set as well.
Xavier Omӓr hit the stage with opening song “Do Not Disturb” and incredible charisma. Sporting a “Tour For You” shirt from Portland’s own Amine and a killer satchel, Omӓr made sure fans knew that although he was a singer, he still came to party.
“I’m Daniel Caesar and I’m Travis Scott”, he said before he dropped “The Motive Used to Be the Melody”. One of the most notable characteristics I noticed from watching Omӓr perform, is how he sounds almost identical to how he would in a studio. I find that rare to find a singer who hasn’t had a million modulators put on their microphone to sound only half as good as they did in the studio.
Omӓr had never been to the City of Roses prior to this show. It was hard to tell because the crowd was so receptive of him. Ever so often, you could hear a fan scream “We love you!” to which he subtly responded, “I love y’all too”. Omär goes on to play “Grown Woman” and the whole crowd goes nuts. The song puts you in the mind of exactly what the title says. It’s a song that uplifts and encourages women with lyrics like “Here you are when my day ain’t bright enough/ You’ve been working away, it’s kinda rough/ But she’s way way more than kinda tough.”
Omär annotated the song on Genius and said the song was “A song dedicated to all the hard working woman of the world.”
Omär has been in the music industry since 2011. He was formerly known by the name SPZRKT. One thing to admire about Omär is his steadfast faith in his direction of his music. He has made a way for himself to become somewhat fluid in his primary genre of R&B, while adding elements of different genres (pop, electronic, Hip hop, etc.) to form a new medium of R&B. The Texas musician’s newest EP, “Pink Lightning” has the a way blending his silky smooth vocals with certain pop elements like a synth.
Before I confirmed it, I could tell Omär got his musical upbringing in church. Takes one to know one. During his set, he took time to share stories from his personal life, almost pastoral in a sense. He told fans of a time where he felt like he wasn’t too sure if music was his destiny. He spoke of a time when he was just trying to find work at Starbucks. The company turned him down for employment but played his music, which was of no monetary benefit to him. He got himself to a place of stability and decided that his passion for music was worth the risk, to what a fan from the crowd validated with a hearty “Damn straight!”
After his story time intermission, Omär dropped “If This Is Love” from his album “The Everlasting Wave”. The crowd swayed back and forth, lost in the quick, but hard hitting drums that give Omär’s voice more emphasis of what his definition of love is.
When the song finished, the lights in the theater dimmed out. A few seconds later, the lights rose with a pink tint. The band started to play one Omär’s more ballad-like songs, “The Title”. Of course the southern crooner had to leave the crowd on a high, so he encored with a few of his more popular hits, “Blind Man” and “Running Round”.
The most important takeaway from Xavier Omär’s show wasn’t a lyric of his; it was a statement he made to the crowd: “Step out. Live your purpose.”