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Shamir Proves to Be a Star at Music Hall of Williamsburg

June 19th, 2015

Shamir – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 18, 2015

(Photo: Andie Diemer)

(Photo: Andie Diemer)

With just two days to go until its official start, there’s still some time to dub Shamir’s “On the Regular” the song of the summer of 2015. Catchy, witty and chock-full of sass, there’s no other tune more fun to sing along to, every line better than the last. While everyone is minus, you can call him multiply. When the 20-year-old Las Vegan performed this tune last night, the sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg crowd squealed with enthusiasm. Perhaps this was the song’s coronation ceremony. The tastemakers of Brooklyn are calling it: This is the song of the summer.

It was a special night for Shamir, telling the crowd that it was his largest North American show to date. Promoting his much acclaimed debut album, Ratchet, his set alternated between dance friendly soon-to-be hits and vocal runs that could’ve given Whitney Houston a run for her money. Writers are quick to mention his androgynous falsetto, but few mention just how damn impressive Shamir’s voice is. For “I Know It’s a Good Thing,” off his previous EP, he hit high notes on the regular, met with awestruck shouts from the audience. Shamir then notched up the intensity, following with what he called an autobiographical song, “Hot Mess,” an absolute banger, with his female backup singer repeating the refrain “Damn he’s a hot mess” through a vocoder that dropped her voice down several octaves. “This next song is about how it’s unfair that you can drink but I cannot,” said Shamir, joking that that’s why he only tours in Europe before introducing “Make a Scene.” This one-two combo left the audience with little remaining energy to dance off, so things cooled down with a Joyce Manor cover, “Christmas Card,” Shamir interpreting the punk song as a gorgeous heartfelt ballad.

Shamir introduced the following song, “Youth,” as everyone’s favorite, which he found funny because he said he wrote the song in two minutes in his Taylor Swift notebook. A couple of numbers later, the venue’s energy ratcheted up so much that he shushed the audience for what he called “meditation time,” before jumping into “Darker.” The place was quiet enough until his impressive singing again elicited whooping and hollering from the crowd in response. As the set came to a close, Shamir jumped into the audience for “Head in the Clouds,” giving fans some heartfelt hugs one at a time, before the song picked up and turned the place into an all out dance party. He jumped back onstage for a solo performance of “I’ll Never Be Able to Love” on the piano, stalling to hit the song’s final note on the keyboard, then running off the stage as he waved goodbye. If he had more songs, the place would have demanded that he never leave. But this is only the beginning for Shamir. He’s too damn lovable to not be a star. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks