Saba @ Songbyrd

Saba, a rapper from the West Side of Chicago, performed last Friday at DC’s Songbyrd Café as a stop along his first solo tour, The Bucket List Tour, for his latest album The Bucket List Project.  Saba performed a sold out show, and the small venue was packed, making it difficult for even those who arrived early to find a spot to stand.

I stood on the left side of the room, still fairly close to the stage, and watched the openers, Joseph Chilliams and Sylcan Lacue, each present their sets.  They each had a unique hip hop style, but they both played music that had a more chill vibe, definitely not music to turn up to. DJ sets between each performer kept the audience full of energy.

Saba finally made his appearance before an energetic and excited crowd, quickly launching into the album opener “In Loving Memory.” Throughout the rest of the night, Saba performed the majority of the songs on The Bucket List Project, including “Stoney,” “Westside Bound 3,” and “World In My Hands.”  He also threw back to a few of the songs on his second mixtape, ComfortZone.

Because Songbyrd is such a small venue, the audience goes right up to the stage where they can easily interact with the artists.  Saba was handing out signatures, high fives, and even hugs to front row fans throughout the night.  Between songs, he stopped to talk with audience members, asking what they each had on their bucket lists, and even discussed the meanings behind some of his songs.  A particularly touching moment was when Saba spoke about his close friend and fellow rapper John Walt, who passed away in February. Saba dedicated the song “Church / Liquor Store” to Walt.

Finishing with his song “California,” Saba left the crowd more than satisfied.  His energetic performance left me feeling as if I had gotten the full Bucket List Tour experience, and I would definitely recommend seeing him perform if ever given the chance.  If you have not already, make sure to check out The Bucket List Project below.

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