Daniel Caesar•The Orion Sun•September 18, 2023•The Complex
Reviewed and Photographed by Tomo Crestani
In Salt Lake City, the anticipation for Daniel Caesar was very strong. The night promised not only the soulful music of the Canadian R&B sensation but also the upcoming sounds of Orion Sun as the opening act. The Complex was the choice of venue, and it did not disappoint. Salt Lake really showed out for this sold-out show. The Complex released small batches of tickets the day of the concert to try to maximize capacity, which I hadn’t seen before. It was impressive the amount of fans Daniel has here in Utah.
The Complex was a perfect venue for Daniel. They accommodated the intense amount of people very professionally. I was thoroughly impressed with the crowd control and safety that was provided. I have a heightened sense for these things at the moment since the last few concerts I went to as a concertgoer instead of taking photos, were scary to say the least. This made me appreciate when a security team does a good job of making sure everyone in attendance is taken care of. There was a massive line to get into the show, which moved rapidly to make sure everyone got what they paid for. It is always frustrating to have a line that struggles to move because the venue isn’t organized. The Complex is always on top of its game.
The Orion Sun
Orion Sun, a rising star in the indie music scene, took the stage to kick off the night’s festivities. The venue was clearly very excited as she took the stage. Orion Sun’s ethereal music was immediately felt as she began her set with soulful singing and dancing. One of the standout moments of Orion Sun’s performance was her powerful vocals throughout her set. She had a consistent spell over the crowd as she sang. Her voice is so soothing and full of emotion.
She set the stage for Daniel perfectly. I hadn’t personally heard any of her music but I knew she was recently at the Mind the Gap Festival here in Salt Lake City. So it was really enjoyable to have a new artist to add to my playlists. I will definitely look forward to seeing her in the future as it sounds like she could strike it big soon. Being on tour with Daniel is definitely a step in the right direction.
As the ambient music came to an end, the anticipation for Daniel Caesar reached its peak. Daniel’s stage design was one of the coolest I have seen to date. It was a few big boxes with screens covering the entire inside. The whole back wall of the stage was one massive screen. He showed live footage of himself backstage walking to his set. It was so cool to see an artist incorporate a new aspect into the show. It reminded me of Frank Ocean’s famous sets with live cameras.
The lighting shining down on Daniel felt unreal to me. The way he effortlessly captured the entire audience with a few lights and a microphone was truly special. His music isn’t the most complex, however, it hits you in a different way that some complex musicians can’t. His smooth vocals and unique melodies proved to be special as the venue was sold out and had everyone singing every word to each song. I can always appreciate someone who clearly is very passionate about their craft and truly puts their heart and soul into the art they are performing. Daniel was very transparently proud of what he had created and shared with the world.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Caesar’s performance was his ability to effortlessly switch between genres. From the sultry R&B of “Get You” to the gospel-infused “Blessed,” his versatility was on full display. Each song was delivered with a level of authenticity that made it feel as if he were sharing a piece of who he is as a person with the audience. The chemistry between Daniel Caesar and his band was undeniable. It added so much power to every word he would sing.
Throughout the concert, Caesar’s connection with the audience was clear. He spoke with humility and gratitude, expressing his appreciation for the love and support he had received throughout his career. This genuine connection with the crowd only served to deepen the emotional attachment to his music. One of my favorite moments came during the performance of “Best Part.” As Caesar sang the duet, his voice intertwined beautifully with the prerecorded vocals of H.E.R. It was a testament to his ability to convey profound emotions through his music.
As the night drew to a close, Daniel Caesar returned for an encore that left the audience yearning for more. The final song, “Streetcar,” was a fitting conclusion to the evening. It has always been one of my very favorites of Daniel’s songs. When his set ended and I wasn’t sure if there was an encore, I was beginning to be very sad that I wouldn’t hear one of my favorite songs. So I thank Daniel for doing this.
Overall I would highly recommend you find Daniel Ceasar and Orion Sun near you. I also always show love to The Complex. They are among my favorite venues in the country. They are a relatively small venue that brings massive artists to town. As I said before, Daniel was one of the best live performances I have ever been to. He is truly the best you could find. Combined with Orion Sun, this is a night I would tell anyone to try to find the opportunity to enjoy.