When Sam Smith was on the tour of The Thrill of It All (2017), an excerpt from the lyrics of “One Day at a Time” appeared on the screens of the venues he visited; right before he and his group took the stage:
That introduction was repeated on all dates of the tour, the same one that brought him to Lollapalooza Chile in March 2019.
Although, at that time he was expressing his reflections of nostalgic love in front of an audience that reached one million viewers around the world – as reported by Billboard at the end of 2018 – this Friday the scene changed completely: Sam Smith performed live from the Abbey Road studios, with no one but his band and crew, and for an audience that witnessed the show via streaming.
As reported on his Instagram account, this was the only opportunity to see his concert this year, which took place on the same day he published his third album, entitled Love Goes (2020).
The appointment began with “Young”, a title that also opens his latest installment. The musician was alone, in the middle of the darkness and with a spotlight that illuminated his head. His voice was mixed between the sound effects that simulated a chorus, while the intensity of his singing stood out with the silences of the song.
Once finished, the lights were turned on and the members of the band entered the scene. The singer wanted to say a few words.
“We’re in a different situation tonight, but that will only make it beautiful,” he commented, staring at the camera lens, and then continuing with “Diamonds”; the latest promotional single from his recent installment.
The energy changed immediately. From an a cappella expression on the memories of early youth, he passed to a romantic catharsis in the key of pop; in which the lighting of the place changed with the movements of the musicians, to the point where Abbey Road turned red when the first chorus arrived.
After singing “Dancing with a Stranger” and “Promises” with equal force, the first chords of “Too Good at Goodbyes” were heard on the piano; one of the slowest songs in his repertoire, which continued with others of a similar cut, such as “Lay Me Down” and “My Oasis”.
Although the artist announced that he would perform titles from his three albums, one of the surprises on the setlist was a cover of Cindy Lauper’s “Time After Time”; which he hadn’t played live before.
After presenting “How Do You Sleep” between blue lights and a predominance in the sound of synthesizers, he followed with “For the Lover That I Lost”; composition that he wrote with Céline Dion for Courage (2019), but which he also wanted to include in Love Goes, due to his admiration for the singer.
Thus, he continued with the acoustics “Kids Again” and returned to address the audience that was watching it via streaming.
—This album marks for me a moment of personal discovery in many ways. It is my first relationship, the longest; suddenly I really understood what love means – he said before inviting the British Labrinth, who worked as producer of the album, to perform the song of the same name.
With his bandmates out of the picture, Sam Smith was once again alone in the darkness of the Abbey Road studios. With the support of a backing track, he sang “Stay With Me” in front of the spotlight that illuminated him at first; but with the difference that it would no longer turn on. It was the end of the show.
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Sam Smith live from Abbey Road: “I really understood what love means” – La Tercera