Singer-songwriter Spencer Sutherland performed at Union Stage in Washington, D.C., Monday night to a crowd that was deceivingly loud for its size.
The intimate setting allowed for a unique experience. Through his astounding stage presence, it felt as if Sutherland was looking right in your eyes and asking you to dance and sing along.
He had a feel similar to Harry Styles, wearing a pink blouse accompanied by a gray suit pant and vest ensemble. While flaunting the look, his voice and music style felt more gritty and soulful.
My favorite song of the set, “Sweater,” had the audience screaming the lyrics, actually singing over Sutherland for most of the chorus. At one point, he held his mic stand up over the crowd to catch their vocals.
Behind him on stage was a glowing star that matched the energy of each song, flashing in happier songs and slowing down during slow tunes. Strategically placed in the center of the stage, Sutherland often looked like he was in the middle of the star.
Sutherland wasted no opportunity to flex his amazing vocal range. He would often save points in songs to feature extensive runs or stretched-out high notes that put the audience in shock again and again.
He also took a moment to thank fans for coming.
“I’m originally from Ohio and … I remember playing shows for literally zero people or at restaurants, and it’s really cool to be able to tour the entire country and play for people,” he said. “I fucking love you.”
At one point in the set, Sutherland snuck around the crowd to sing an older song, “Wonder,” on a podium at the back of the room. This forced everyone to turn around 180 degrees, and allowed Sutherland to interact with fans in the rear of the audience.
Throughout the set, Sutherland incorporated a few covers to keep audience energy up and spark some nostalgia. A few songs featured included “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton, and “Bennie And The Jets” by Elton John.
Sutherland re-emerged in a homemade-looking sweater vest that said “In His Mania” on the back for the encore.
The crowd was sufficiently hyped for Sutherland thanks to two opening acts, Michael Minelli and JORDY.
Minelli knew how to bring the energy with his happy bedroom-pop sound and bubbly personality. He got the audience singing and jumping around to practically every song in his set.
JORDY followed shortly after, with very different but equally electrifying energy. He brought all the boy-band vibes, but instead of singing about girls, his songs are written about boys. My favorite of the set was “Story of a Boy,” a queer twist of Nine Day’s “Absolutely (Story of a Girl).”
Sutherland will continue his nation tour with Minelli and JORDY until April 27, with the final stop of the tour in Los Angeles.