I know. It’s getting to be a little much.
This is the third article I’ve written about Ms. Cabello for this paper since November. But, in my defense, the girl keeps killing it. Just this week, she landed her second No. 1 1 pop radio single with “Never Be The Same!” A star on the rise keeps soaring higher.
Last week though, Camila Cabello visited the city of brotherly love to perform a sold-out show at the Fillmore in Fishtown.
I had been eagerly awaiting this concert for months. I bought tickets as soon as they went on sale, and they sold out very soon after. Protip for you concert goers out there: if you go to the Fillmore on the first day of public sale to buy tickets, you don’t have to pay fees.
As I waited in line I was relieved to see that the age range present was wide. There were many children and preteens with their parents, but there were also many college-aged people and young adults.
Opening for Cabello was the new budding male popstar, Bazzi. He is most famous for his song “Mine.” From the moment he started singing, everyone around me was screaming every word. This was extremely surprising to me, because I barely knew the chorus of his hit single.
Bazzi seems like a poppier, boring version of The Weeknd. While he could definitely carry a tune, I had trouble understanding most of what he was saying. Also, his hand seemed glued to his crotch, which became more distracting the longer it went on.
Camila Cabello’s headlining set began with an intense video clip to set the atmosphere. It was obvious that there were some major production dollars at play here, something you don’t usually get at a venue like the Fillmore.
She opened the set with her current single “Never Be the Same,” flexing her falsetto very early in the show. She wore a long black jacket over a black mesh long sleeve shirt, which was covering a strapless nude top. The jacket and mesh top would be stripped during the course of the show. These were accessorized with a stacked pearl choker and finished with a pair of open front pants.
Throughout the concert Cabello showed off her impressive vocal flexibility. Just when you started to feel like she couldn’t possibly be slaying this choreography and sticking these vocal runs, she quieted the crowd and sang the chorus of “In the Dark” sans microphone, lit by hundreds of smartphone flashlights. She explained to the crowd that she had been trying to pull that off all tour, and this was the first time it actually worked.
This was just one of many intimate moments Cabello had with the audience. Though the production of the show felt like it was fit for a bigger venue, it was amazing to feel her connection with fans up close.
In the middle of one of the songs, “Scar Tissue,” a track that didn’t make her debut album, she sat down to get face to face with the crowd and delivered important advice she had learned on her journey: love yourself first, and no matter what.
Though the setlist was packed with hits, and two never before heard songs, it was weird not to hear singles like “Crying in the Club” and “I Have Questions” which introduced Cabello as a solo artist to the world.
One of the most moving performances was “Something’s Gotta Give.” Though the song describes a very singular moment in a breakup, she was able to re-craft it into an anthem of hope with a politically charged video montage.
As she sang the song images and footage appeared of Black Lives Matter Protests, The Women’s March, immigrants and refugees and much more. Just as the song reached its climax Emma Gonzalez appeared on screen blinking away tears. Though the song was already extremely emotional, Cabello was able to make the impact and message even greater.
Though she definitely wasn’t afraid to get the crowd in their feels, she also made sure to have lots of fun moments. She gave us a sexy dance break to Sean Paul’s get busy, the flirty track “Into It” and her collaboration with Major Lazer “Know No Better,” which she used as an opportunity to let her backup dancers show off their freestyle skills.
Of course, she closed the show with her chart topping hit “Havana.” She thanked the crowd profusely and praised all of her dancers and band members.
The Fillmore was definitely an underplay for Cabello, but it was amazing to get to see such strong production up close. As she wraps up her first headlining tour, she prepares to go out again as an opener on her friend Taylor Swift’s “Reputation Stadium Tour.” She will be back in Philly July 13 & 14.