Miguel Celebrates New Album at The Bowery Ballroom

October 2nd, 2012

Miguel – The Bowery Ballroom – October 1, 2012

Miguel, the eclectic R&B powerhouse from Los Angeles, performed a sold-out show at The Bowery Ballroom last night, on the eve of the release of his second studio album, Kaleidoscope Dream. In synergy with the album title, the performance was enhanced by an elaborate light show—with Miguel and his four-piece band surrounded by colorful neon prisms, bright flashing bulbs and soaring beams of light that mirrored the fractured, hypnotic sensation of being inside a kaleidoscope. As he lithely moved about the stage, clad in a shiny red blazer, gold jewelry glinting, Miguel appeared to relish becoming part of the optical illusion.

As Miguel and his band performed high-impact versions of songs like “Sure Thing” and “The Thrill,” Prince’s influence was loud and clear, and during songs like the candid musical proposition “Quickie,” Miguel channeled the playful naughtiness of R. Kelly. Despite these musical reference points, Miguel is not an artist who lingers very long in any one box. For example, he began his soulful version of “Teach Me” by surprisingly blending in a reworked cover of the Zombies’ psychedelic “Time of the Season.”

In addition to an ear for melody and a killer falsetto, Miguel is blessed with a kind of super-powered charisma. As the singer tried to lead the crowd in an a cappella sing-along of “The Girl with the Tattoo,” the background vocals the crowd had rehearsed quickly dissolved into shrieks of adoration when Miguel began singing his lyrics. Laughing appreciatively, he had everyone start over and was able to get through the song without being overtaken by screams. And although the light show dazzled, Miguel easily outshone it. —Alena Kastin