Concert Reviews

Bryson Tiller concert review | Cleveland, OH | 07.03.23 

The 2015 internet sensation Bryson Tiller took Jacobs Pavillion by storm on the evening before the Fourth of July. Tiller began his career in 2011 with a mixtape titled ‘Killer Instinct Vol. 1.’ He rose to mainstream success from SoundCloud in 2015 following the release of the single, “Don’t,” which reached the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

It’s been almost six years since the Kentucky native embarked on a nationwide tour. The most recent time was in promotion of his sophomore studio album ‘True to Self.’ So why is he touring now one may wonder? It’s simple, HE’S BACK AND HE’S BETTER! The Grammy-nominated star wants to take fans on a trip to the past while giving a glimpse of the future. That’s exactly what he did, performing songs everyone knows and loves like “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Exchange” from his debut album, ‘TRAPSOUL’ while also diving into some songs off of his 2023 album ‘ANNIVERSARY.’ 

The Billboard chart topper couldn’t perform his hits without also performing some of the great features that he has done alongside the works of Rihanna and Summer Walker, including the hit single “Wild Thoughts” by DJ Khaled.

Tiller takes pride in being an enigma and that definitely was portrayed on stage, with somber mood lighting throughout, which kept him silhouetted to the audience most of the time, creating that mysterious illusion yet keeping fans from truly engaging with his stage presence. Even if fans couldn’t visually connect with Tiller himself, they definitely could connect with the stage’s colorful and always-changing setup. Tiller was flanked on either side by two retro arcade games whose screens flickered from low-quality animations to high-tech visuals. Tiller frequently performed strutting across a video screen lined with sharp LED lights, a wall of dozens of screens fluctuating from soft enhancement, like the resemblance of a pink sunset centered behind Tiller during “7:00,” to dizzying, blinding spins of the backing screens later in the show.

Tiller put on a heartfelt and engaging performance, filled with technological spunk and nostalgia. He fittingly was dressed in the Back to the Future self-tying sneakers as well as wearing a Nintendo power glove during the duration of the performance, all in the theme of rising up and coming back better than ever.

Tiller’s short set came to an end with a beautiful rendition of one of his hit songs “Right My Wrongs,” in which the crowd helped him sing. During the duration of the closing song, the four aforementioned arcade games lit up with Tiller’s family photos as well as prominent images from his past. For the final chorus of the performance, Tiller’s daughter came on stage to help him finish the song. It was truly a heartwarming experience to see the father and daughter connection on stage. It was a perfect way to end the exciting night. 

What is a great show without an energetic opener? The crowd never tired of DJ Nitrate’s fun and danceable energy which leaned heavily on R&B hits like Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love” and a medley of SZA songs, including “Kill Bill” and “Nobody,” most of them prompting widespread belting from the teens and twenty-something women who dominated the crowd.

Related posts

The Head and the Heart Concert Review | Cleveland, OH | The Agora | 05.29.22

Joel Voorman

It’s Britney, Bitch!

Joel Voorman

‘Pretty Woman: The Musical’ | Theater Review

T. Patrick Fenner