Photography by Manuel Frayre
It is difficult to compare Miguel to many other artists in the industry right now because there really isn’t any other artist doing it the way Miguel is. Bringing his culture and early influences to the front row of his performances, Miguel manages to incorporate self-awareness into his sets without sacrificing showmanship nor sex appeal. Such conjecture comes with little sacrifice but so much gratification. For The War and Leisure Tour, the opening segment included a short film inspired by the injustices and mistreatment of immigrants in the country with a very emotional tone. During the film, Miguel mentions that this is a very personal topic for him because he is the product of immigrant parents who have at some point in their lives experienced mistreatment. The Texas leg of the tour was sold out, so for him to show such political expression to a room filled with exhilarated packed out fans, was risky. Yet, as I looked around the room, I catch a few people with tears in their eyes and many hands up. Right before jumping onto the stage behind a giant cloud of smoke, a black screen appeared with the message “Portions of Tonights Merch Sales are being Donated to Black Alliance for Just Immigration” and the entire room erupted into claps and shouts.
Now we’ve all known Miguel to be an energetic performer in the past, yet something felt different with this tour. A certain force seems to lie underneath him, an eclectic energy that is both contagious and inspirational. It feels like the stars finally aligned for Miguel and he has found the ideal lifestyle formula. To be able to manage commercial success, mental and emotional stability, craftsmanship and physical strength to perform on a daily basis cannot be easy. Yet as soon as the lights are on and the curtain is lifted, the man on that stage is capable of carrying all of that and more so gracefully.
Many other people within this genre have fallen into music most likely because of their need to express themselves, for fun or association. Miguel is different. It’s like he always knew his destiny was to embrace a stage, at any cost or sacrifice, he was born to perform. From the aesthetics of his persona, the outfits to the dance moves and timing and vocal runs. Everything feels so natural yet well completely precise. A personal highlight was the ‘Do You’ rendition, it was one of those moments when you could tell the room knew exactly what was coming, the couples cuddled up a little bit closer and everyone’s minds went directly into those memories back in the ‘Kaleidoscope Dreams’ days. Whether it was your college days or your early days of sexual exploration, Miguel’s music has always been a passage and a soundtrack for our generation’s most personal moments. His legacy will forever lie within the real lovers. Real Lovers, who are now grown and can appreciate the wokeness of our icons as much as their artistry. Thank you for a fantastic night Miguel.
To check out the rest of the Tour make sure to visit his page and cop some Tix before is too late. http://www.officialmiguel.com/