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Concert review: DVSN

Dvsn. performing at O2 Kentish House (2018)

From vocals to visuals, dvsn had the whole night on lock. Both Daniel Daley and Nineteen85 individually stressed their importance as part of one of the biggest R&B duos around. Although Daniel is seen as the face of the group, both artists played specific roles in making the concert special. Nineteen85, the man behind all the beats and samples, opened the performance with a diligent DJ set. He engaged the fans with some R&B oldies as well as throwing in music from his OVO labelmates. Only when the crowd was brimming with excitement did Daniel Daley come out and perform With Me. What I respected (as well as others, I'm sure) is that after finishing his opening set, Nineteen85 went to control the concert from the booth with the other sound technicians. It gave everyone present an insight into how they work so harmoniously as a group.

The participation from the audience was garagantuan, and this was well within expectations. Dvsn's music as a whole is incredibly relatable and empathetic and so for many, hearing it live only intensified the connection with the tracks. This meant that there were no standout songs, or better yet, every track had a standout quality to it. The records from their debut album, Sept 5th, echoed around Kentish Town Forum that bit more than the ones on Morning After but the songs were very well received all the same. The difference came when some tracks were broken down at the end to their sample, where he would sing the original song the melody was taken from. The end of Too Deep smoothly transitioned into So Anxious by Ginuwine; and despite the fact it was not sampled, Think About Me seamlessly passed into a passionate rendition of U Got it Bad.

All three back-up singers had voices that rivalled Daley's in range, power and depth. They were spurred on by the spectators to carry out runs that showed just how talented they were. One of the supporting singers, Shantel May, stepped forward to execute a flawless cover of 1+1 by Beyoncé, before performing her debut single- Back n Forth. The reception for both songs was electric and she definitely left a lasting impression on the viewers.

The screen at the back of the stage added a story-like element to the show. Each number had its own video on loop that would represent the feelings expressed in the lyrics (sometimes subbed at the bottom of the screen). A prime example of this is Mood, where a romantic atmosphere was set in the background with candles and a woman undressing.

Scenes from the promotional video for their second album were used, that featured children watching the sunset from an empty pool. This was a personal favourite for me. The video captured the essence of the song it was paired with. There were also end credits after the concert, accompanied by the record- Angela, that gave a cinematic finish to the visuals that were displayed all night.

If I had to summarise the gig: it was emotive, in every sense of the word. Dvsn evoked a response from everyone, regardless of the song and the feelings that went with it. Seeing them live was an encounter I cannot wait to experience again.


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