Clinton Kane’s first-ever LA show floors The Echo

Australian pop singer Clinton Kane played the third night of his first-ever tour at LA’s The Echo to a sold-out crowd of fans who have likely followed the rising star’s YouTube covers of popular songs by James Arthur, The Weeknd and Bazzi for years. R&B singer Venika opened the night of talent followed by TikTok star Alex Warren who performed just two songs —his first performance ever to numerous fans who were familiar with his ballad “One More I Love You”. Warren looked around for Clinton following a giant applause and then Clinton pulled a sneak attack behind him and smacked one right on his cheek. Warren mentioned he had been to one concert before in his life and that this was the first one he’s ever performed. Warren’s heartbreaking second and final song was introduced as an unreleased track “Remember Me Happy” (dropping December 17) with a note that he and Clinton share a similar upbringing involving loss and family challenges.

Kane’s set started with a comment that he was a little under the weather, but that didn’t stop him from hitting his mark on 2020 mid-tempo track “Hopeless”, resonating with the audience while the natural rasp in his voice drew them in. 

With his debut record slated for early 2022, Clinton Kane obviously played some new unreleased material and the first big moment of the night happened with unreleased track “Too Much”, a heart-wrenching, powerful ballad which he warned is “probably the saddest song I’ve ever written”. Following the outstanding vocal and rather personal performance Kane joked, “I’m not crying, that was sweat”.

New single “Go To Hell” (which will be released at midnight tonight) was a next, a kind of punky, upbeat, rebellious song for the singer-songwriter and a slightly different direction from his ballad and pop fare. For a moment Justin Bieber’s “”One Less Lonely Girl” played on the soundsystem and Clinton sang along with the crowd and then he got serious for recent single “I Guess I’m In Love” with the crowd singing along once they recognized the first chord on the piano. Singing with full force, it ended with a spirited ending.

Clinton took a poll from fans asking “How many of you guys know my YouTube days?”, which of course earned him a huge applause and then he played the reggae-hued “This Is What Being Cheated On Feels Like”.

A welcome surprise and standout song on the set was clearly “Fourteen”, another unreleased track —and an absolute future hit (mark our words: it’s got the relatability and urgency of popular hits by Ed Sheeran and Sara Bareilles). The slightly-danceable track has a vamp to it, and a guitar lick propelling the song forward. The whole place was vibing for sure. 

Since there’s no shortage of amazing ballads by Clinton Kane, his Taylor Swift-like song title “I Don’t Want To Watch The World End With Someone Else” was next. The gentle acoustic strums from guitarist Andrew had the fans singing along in a delicate hum —and they sang every word of the love song. Kane described, “this next song is about a toxic relationship” and he started “Fix It To Break It”, with the emotional pull on the lyric “I need more” as the beautiful piano ballad took flight with the crowd joining in on the lyrics.

Following a massive applause, Clinton gave props to his drummer Josh and again to his guitarist Andrew (who was the subject of some amusing banter with Clinton claiming he has “perfect pitch”). The fans were clapping and everyone was singing along to Clinton Kane’s hit song “Chicken Tendies”. Following the song, Kane went into the crowd on the floor level while “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire played, dancing with his fans under the disco balls.

Clinton Kane was recently announced as one of the VEVO DSCVR Artist to Watch acts of 2022 and his nearly-hourlong set definitely left fans wanting more. Luckily, Kane will return May 12, 2022 at the El Rey Theatre.

Photo by Michael Menachem