Cheers rang out as the lights dimmed at Houston's House of Blues and a sheer black curtain fell across the stage Tuesday night. Standing directly behind the curtain was a barely visible Chloe Bailey. As the dancers behind her faded into the darkness backstage the singer grabbed a microphone and basked in the applause.
The baseline from “Make It Look Easy” pulsated through the room as “Always In My Heart” and “Make It Look Easy” drifted across the curtain in bright, white, cursive letters. Chloe stepped back from the edge of the stage after belting out the final note, leaving the crowd momentarily silent before bursting into screams of approval.
“I just want to thank you Houston,” exclaimed the almost breathless singer as she smiled at the audience. “I just want to thank you for supporting me. Supporting me even when I’m in pieces.”
The In Pieces Tour, named after Chloe’s debut album, is the singer’s first major solo tour and a continuation of her establishment as her own artist. Chloe Bailey entered the entertainment world as one half of the singing duo Chloe X Halle. The sisters released a mixtape, a few EP’s and two albums, The Kids Are Alright and Ungodly Hour, the latter of which gained critical acclaim with lead singles “Do It” and “Forgive Me.”
Under the mentorship of Beyoncé, who discovered the sisters through the videos they posted on YouTube and eventually signed them to her label Parkwood Entertainment, the duo has been steadily carving out their place in the entertainment world. The have racked up wins and nominations from the Recording Academy, NAACP, iHeart Radio, Soul Train and more while at the same time developing their acting chops with projects like Last Holiday, Let It Shine, The Fighting Temptations, Meet The Browns, and their roles as sisters Jazz and Sky on the hit show Grown-ish.
While this is Chloe’s debut album her stage performance is anything but that of a newcomer, highlighting the experience developed as part of a duo as well as her tutelage under Beyonce. From opening with her dancers draped in choir robes during “Pray It Away, trading moves with them on “Do It” or playing on a drum machine and keyboard during “I’ll Kill You”, Chloe controlled the crowd with her stage presence — impressing the sold-out crowd.
“The question isn’t what was good about the concert,” said Candace Gilbert immediately after the show. “The question is what, if anything, was not good. It was giving everything it needed to give.”
“She’s a true musician,” recalled DeWanna Jackson of Chloe’s improvisation. “Tonight, showed her talents in dancing, singing, and playing the drums and piano. Plus, she stopped the show to make sure a fan got a bottle of water. Most artists wouldn’t do that.”