Cellphone flashlights illuminated the Toyota Center Thursday night as the audience swayed along to the soundtrack provided by Khalid. The singer, face projected on screen highlighting his signature smile, stood in front of the screaming stadium dressed simply in a black NASA cap, a tour t-shirt, and jeans.
“This next song changed my life forever,” he exclaimed as a single spotlight washed over him and the plucky intro for his 2017 hit “Location” brought the crowd back to their feet. The Grammy nominated singer could barely get through the first few lines before the sound of fans singing along began to drown him out. The singer leaned back on his stool, laughed, and held his mike up toward the crowd as they belted out the hook in unison. The large screen behind Khalid switched back and forth between a silhouetted close up of his face and shots of the audience, singing towards the stage and the phones in their hands.
Khalid’s international tour highlights the singer’s latest release, Free Spirit, as well as his platinum debut, American Teen. Khalid is just 21 with a two-disc deep catalog and a relatively short career, but he performed like an entertainer with years’ worth of experience. Couples serenaded each other while hugging tightly as if no one else was in the stadium while the rest of the audience joined along for every lyric of the concert.
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Khalid packed out the two-hour event by performing his chart-topping singles but spent the majority of the evening catering to his die-hard fan base, singing album cuts, duets from other projects, and remixes of his own work. While performing the upbeat “Outta My Head” his dancers took center stage as the and switched over to Cameo’s 1986 hit “Candy.” He took his time on album cuts like “Intro” and “Angels” prompting the crowd to continue singing along with him. A group of girls screeched when “Silence” the Khalid feature from DJ/Producer Marshmello filled the room.
Khalid kept the music coming, rarely breaking during the show except for a video montage of himself with friends laughing while living life in El Paso, where he attended high school. Khalid’s voice hung in the air as he spoke on his growth as an artist.
“I’m stoked to be 21. I’m stoked to finally do a lot of things legally,” he laughed. “I’m stoked to just live life. That’s what we really have to do…we have to live life.”