LIVE REVIEW: RATIONALE
Updated: Mar 22, 2019
This post was first published on Songs About Me (And You)
Amid the hustle and bustle of Charing Cross, people are gathering at London’s Heaven ahead of tonight show. The sold-out crowd has come to watch singer Rationale’s biggest headline show yet. He will perform the finale to his headline tour, before going back on the road with British band, Bastille. Numerous people in attendance discovered the Zimbabwe-born singer after serving as Support Act throughout Bastille’s tour – one which also included a two-night stay at the O2 Arena. Since then he released three singles, including his most commercial-sounding one to date, Reciprocate.
Re.Up blasts through the speakers. It’s the perfect first song choice as it gives the night an incredible, strong start. Much like his other songs, this has African-inspired undertones. Immediately, Rationale shows his strong stage presence and charisma – a charm which has enchanted thousands of people who started to following his career. At one point he asks the crowd to put up their phones in the air during Deliverance and to no surprise, the one thousand-strong crowd responds perfectly.
He plays up to the crowd wonderfully, smiling, showing emotion to his songs, never breaking feels even during instrumental pieces – a common occurrence in his songs, especially in Fast Lane. This is one of the crowd favourites, as well as Palms, Prodigal Son and Something For Nothing. The latter feels even fuller live than any of the other records.
However, Rationale is not only gifted in performing and songwriting (which he has also done for other artists such as Rag ‘n’ Bone Man), he is also an incredibly talented vocalist. His baritone range, flawless transitions and controlled vibrato give him a voice which is hard to forget. In fact, his talent has not gone unnoticed from musicians like Pharrell Williams and even Elton John, whom both have admitted to being fans and spoke highly of the rising star.
He is trying out some new music, including an incredibly emotional ballad, Living On The Line, from his upcoming album.The song is performed only to a piano as opposed to his usual synth-pop music. He also premiers Black Hole, a song which almost has a Motown rhythm in its melody and Gospel-inspired backing vocals.
Rationale soon gets the ball rolling again suggesting to the audience “Shall we dance some more?” before the asserting and sensual Vessels comes on.
His music is curated to be danced to, as he does so on stage. The final song is his best of his career so far. Fuel To The Fire is not only about the refusal to being submissive to injustice, but it invokes adrenaline in its space and strong beats. It demands attention just like he does from this ever-changing industry. It creates the most incredible atmosphere.
Throughout, the crowd sang out loud every lyric. The experience is a huge upgrade to when he was supporting Bastille at the O2 Arena, one which highlights a promising future for Rationale. After the show, the crowd are buzzing and everyone is excited for his headlining show on April 27th – this time at the Electric Brixton.