I’ve had Smino’s second album, NOIR, on repeat for the past couple of weeks. With tracks such as “Klink” and “Z4L” NOIR is, without a doubt, just as good or even better than his debut album blkswn. Smino holds a very unique sound that never gets tiring so when I found out he was going to be at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, I knew I had to be there.
The Fonda Theatre, located in the heart of Hollywood, holds a capacity of 1,200 people. But that was no challenge for Smino! This show date was one of many sold out shows off his Hoopti Tour! One of the other photographers said they drove all the way from San Diego just to catch Smino’s show and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case for some of the fans! Nonetheless, the Fonda filled up very quickly. I even had a little trouble trying to squeeze through the crowd to reach the photo pit, but no complaints because I knew it was going to be a killer show.
The clock hit 10:45 and it was time for Smino’s set. The curtains went up and we were greeted by the live band that I had no idea would be included. Compared to having just a DJ play tracks off their laptop, having a live band adds more energy to the show and overall atmosphere. Fans screamed and I mean SCREAMED when Smino appeared on stage. About that 1,200 capacity limit, I definitely think there was more than that.
Smino’s presence on stage is unmatched and his ability to go from a slow mellow tone to a fast flow with such ease blew me away. Smino lit up the stage with his performance along with the incredible band he had with him. Every now and then he would just stare at the crowd with a pose I can’t really explain, you just had to be there. But you could tell this guy means business and I expected nothing less.
From his production, stage presence, and marketing, it’s clear that Smino genuinely cares about putting on an unforgettable show. The only thing missing is more show dates in Los Angeles! Nonetheless, I have a great feeling that Smino will be headlining major events very very soon.
Words and photos by Fred Ayala