by: Lili Do
“If there’s something I need I don’t already have, I know I get it from my good friend,” and that good friend is Emily King.
If I may be so bold to put this out there, King definitely has a grace to her that reminds you of great artists like Prince. From the monochrome red suit to her groovy dance moves, this woman knows how to work the stage.
I had the pleasure of seeing her performance on August 2 at the El Rey. This is probably one of my favorite venues because it’s a smaller stage, creating a more intimate vibe between the crowd and the performer. I always love glimpsing at the crowd before the show and seeing who will show up to these concerts. I’m pleased to say, King drew out everyone; it just goes to show how her music can be liked across all ages.
PJ Morton opened the show and it was a pleasant surprise to people who did not know him prior to the show. Morton’s performance was both soulful and emotional and he had a similar aesthetic that is reminiscent to Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles. He even swayed at the piano like Charles. He drew the crowd in like a warm hug and he pulled at heartstrings, in particular with his song, “Two Hearts.” He addressed the crowd and asked if it was possible to be in love with two people, which led to a woman shouting, “YES!”, followed by laughter and a smooth transition into the song. He was accompanied by a drummer and a guitarist and together they jammed out on stage and the result was gaining several new fans, including this music enthusiast.
The excitement for King to start filled the room as the audience anxiously waited for her. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait too long, she came on almost promptly at 9pm and to simply put, she stole the show. King opened with “Good Friend” and from then on, it only got better and better. As mentioned earlier, she was wearing an all red suit with a red overcoat that looked like a cape. She paired it off with a cool pompadour do’ and circle sunnies. King exuded cool from head to toe and made the performance her own. She danced across the stage, spun in circles and showed off some sassy dance moves, especially during her songs, “BYIMM” and “Sleepwalker.”
Her band was an awesome cherry on top: she had a bassist, drummer, pianist/guitarist, and a lovely backup singer. At one point, her and her backup singer fell into a synchronized dance, making small movements and steps with their hips and feet and while spreading their arms wide open and snapping their fingers. Needless to say, the crowd went crazy and it was definitely a “you had to be there moment.” She also slowed down the pace with songs like, “No More Room” and “Already There,” creating a more sentimental air which filled the room. As her show came to an end, cheers for an encore began as people shouted, “E-MI-LY” and “one more song.” I was amazed at how strong the cheers were and barely two minutes had passed before she came out and performed, “Georgia” and “Ever After.”
Essentially, this concert was everything and more. It was a dream come true hearing her songs come to life on stage, after listening to her for so long through my computer speakers. She is truly a very talented artist and hands down, an amazing performer. Her style and artistry is comparable to other great artists like Prince, as she has just the right amount of sass and soul.