July 25th, 2012
Before we get started here – it’s sold out. Know this because we’ve known this for weeks with heavy hearts. We’ve been scouring StubHub to see if prices come down closer to the night of the show. Philadelphians with tickets have been waiting with anticipation for a while and what will transpire at 10th and Spring Garden tonight will most certainly come close to a religious experience. Yeah, we’re excited about channel ORANGE. Maybe you saw our cover story. Or the glowing review we gave it On The Record. Maybe you even saw the Best New Music honor given to Ocean by Pitchfork, or this extraordinary Guardian piece from the UK. Philadelphia’s not the only place that’s excited about Ocean, but tonight he’s ours.
The other day, we were walking to the pool and heard “Thinkin’ Bout You” blasting from a windows-down car’s system. Taking some plates back to the dishpit last week, even the young Latino man listening to the radio was feeling “Pyramids.” Thing is, Ocean’s one of the most exciting things to happen to R&B in some time, and not just because he came out a few weeks ago (as bi). But mostly because his big, official debut that hit streets last week is as refreshing and creative as anything we’ve heard from the likes of Chris Brown, Drake, Kid Cudi, Trey Songz or Pharell. Distinguish him away from hip-hop as much as you want, this new one brilliantly employs soul, old-school R&B, sickening beats and compelling songwriting for one of the best records of the year.
As he revealed in the aforementioned Guardian story, he’s not been a solo artist on this level yet. His visit to Philly will be his ninth American tour date, and tomorrow night he’s off to Manhattan for a Terminal 5 set. But he knew that he couldn’t promote and perform these songs without being honest about himself, or, as he said it, without “waking up with a boulder on my chest.” Well, without that boulder, he should have full capacity of his lungs to deliver, with all the feeling he’s got, songs like “Crack Rock,” “Forrest Gump” and “Sweet Life.” To those smart enough to snag tickets months ago, we salute you, and we covet you. And to those douche-mongers who bought tickets just to sell them on StubHub, well, you know you’re running a scam. We do not salute you.
Oh, have you not been listening to Nostalgia, Ultra? Here’s a link: download it now, legitimately.