Frank Ocean @ Showbox Market

July 13, 2012
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What is a frank ocean show? Add equal parts ugly dudes, good looking girls, an effing killer voice w/ perfect summer vibes. Tonights a special show too, not just for us but for Frank. The first since his official debut, Channel Orange dropped, but he wears it like it's his 10,000th. So much ease and charm, nailing every note to an impeccable song selection. Out of the gate we get Thinkin Bout You, Sweet Life, Forest Gump and things are just getting started. It's tough to tell if he's playing to a crowd of humans or a sea of cell phones but either way there is no question about the uncontaimable excitement of everyone in the room, and understandably, just a few days ago, not only did Frank kill it on Fallon, but he dropped his debut album a week early. A truly special opportunity to see an artist of such a high caliber in such fledgling form.  He's up there killing it.

Why is that relevant to us? Right now as he sings along to Strawberry Swing off Nostalgia-Ultra, his first mixtape, which you might find quite familiar if you're a Coldplay fan. The show continues along, it's only faults coming from the fact that this is something like his 6th solo show ever, and the setlist at sometimes lags in the eb and flow, but that is certainly all forgotten when he pulls out a verse of Made It in America off Watch The Throne, his shining moment that brought him from a young talent to a mainstream hype firework waiting to burst. The pinicle of the set however, lies in the strongest song from his album, Pyramids which no matter where you are in the room is absolutely piercing. On a side note, perhaps the only tough moment of seeing the tour at it's inception is the weak lighting design and rough sound. Mildly detracting from the vibe but certainly not enough to ruin anything. Ultimately I'd say the show was very very good. Not amazing, not mind blowing. But simply, really effing on point. Look for the kid to only move onward and upward from here though. And certainly never count on seeing him in a spot like this again. Something unreal. 

photo by Ian Imhof