Tori Kelly @ MetsJam 09/12/2015

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‘Twas an ominous looking day at Brooklyn Bridge Park this past Saturday afternoon as fans crowded in front of the MetsJam stage and rainclouds rolled in. Hours before any musical act came onstage, fans had already been patiently waiting, packed together, and constantly looking around for sight of Tori Kelly on the Pier. Luckily for us, the rain didn’t pour down until well after the festival took place. But even if it did, I reckon Tori Kelly would be able to keep the unbreakable smiles from faltering in the crowd.

It was pandemonium when Tori finally came onstage after A Great Big World played. Fans screamed and from my vantage point standing on a speaker, I could see face after face of total adoration for the singer. Even when she faced some technical difficulties during her performance, she kept the mood upbeat by talking to the audience, wishing some happy birthdays, and complimenting a fan’s pepperoni pizza backpack in the front row.

At this point Tori’s debut album, Unbreakable Smile, has only been out for less than three months but the fans in the audience knew every single lyric. As she played songs from the album like “Talk,” “Expensive,” and “City Dove,” the audience could be seen singing along to every word. Midway through her set, Tori played quite the throwback with “All In My Head” and it was a stunning performance of a TK classic. Her set closed out with “Should’ve Been Us” and the sheer joy that Tori exhibited on her face during this song was so captivatingly genuine. As she walked back and forth across the stage, pointing her microphone at the audience to sing along, it was obvious that this person loves what she’s doing and it made for a great show.

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Nancy Hoang created Hopeless Thunder in 2007. She conducts the interviews, writes the articles, photographs the concerts, and handles the site's coding & design. (Basically, she's a control freak.) Her work can also be seen on music publication, CMJ. Contact Nancy for image licensing, assignments, or just to say hi.