This past Wednesday, World Cafe Live’s music hall was filled with fans dazzled by performances by viral star Stephen Sanchez and his stand out opener Kings Elliot for the Stephen Sanchez in Person tour. By 7pm, Philadelphia fans were pouring into the music hall with an overwhelming excitement for the night full of music ahead of them.
Stephen Sanchez first gained attention in June of 2020 after a cover of him singing Cage the Elephant’s “Cigarette Daydreams” went viral on Tiktok, and over the years the Nashville-based artist has accumulated over 122.1K followers on the platform. In July of 2022, Stephen released his debut single “Lady by the Sea” which was produced by Jeremy Zucker and led to him signing a deal with Republic Records. Since then, he has faced a lot of success on social media with his hit single “Until I Found You”, which accumulated over 259 million streams on Spotify after going viral on TikTok. Stephen has had the opportunity to work with several established artists, including singer-songwriter Ashe on their single “Missing You,” and he recently released his debut album in August of 2022.
The opener to Stephen’s set at World Cafe Live was named Kings Elliot. This Swiss singer-songwriter first started releasing music in 2020, is on her way to pop stardom with her unique sound and unfiltered voice. Inspired by artists such as Lana Del Rey, Banks, and Lorde, Kings Elliot is unafraid to make music that is both bold and vulnerable, and her fans love her for it. Kings Elliot is extremely passionate about mental health, and her dedication to her fans and close-knit community shines through in her music.
At 8pm, the welcoming audience was introduced to British alt-pop artist Kings Elliot. Fans who never heard of her music were quick to develop an eagerness to become acquainted with the artist. King's Elliot has an approachable and warm personality, having a meaningful effect on her audience with her poignant conversations and music.
Her 30 minute set left a lasting impression on the crowd, showing off her dynamic discography and establishing her sound and purpose to new fans. She began her set with “I’m Getting Tired of Me,” opening up to the listeners immediately with this deeply personal tune. After speaking to the crowd for a bit, Kings Elliot continued her set with “Cry, Baby, Cry”, which is one of the singles off her newest EP Bored of the Circus which was released in September of 2022. This sentimental song brought the audience together, demonstrating the artist’s innate ability to relate to her listeners. Next up was the first song on that same EP, titled “'Till I Die,” which she introduced as “a letter to myself and my mental health”. The next tune that she played was dedicated to her fans. “The Outsider” is a song off of her first EP release back in 2021, and during the song, Kings Elliot took a moment to teach the audience the words to the anthemic chorus, causing everyone in the packed venue to sing along to the relatable lyrics.
Between almost every song, Kings Elliot took a moment to speak to the audience and check in on her fans. Her set was deeply personal throughout, and therefore it was extremely important for her to open up and create a trusting relationship with the audience. She also played “Ashes by the Morning”, which was a passionate song that showed off a belty and powerful side to her vocal range. She then entered the last stage of her set, performing her single “Lost Again,” which debuted in January as the theme to the video game The Callisto Protocol. Lastly, she closed out the set with her hit single “Call Me A Dreamer” which racked up over 4,500,000 streams on Spotify. Kings Elliot’s intimate set surely accomplished her goals of introducing her music and connecting with the audience.
After a short intermission, there was a brimming anticipation in the audience of adoring Stephen Sanchez fans. At around 9pm, the lights dimmed as the stage was lit with warm, retro lighting. Running on stage with a mass of energy, Stephen belted out the lyrics to “Hey Girl” as the crowd erupted in excitement. Stephen then greeted the crowd, grabbing his guitar to play “Hold Her While You Can” off of his 2021 EP What Was, Not Now. Throughout his set, Stephen played multiple songs from that first EP, including “Kayla,” a slower song which showed off the young artists impressive vibrato, “I Want You,” which was the saddest and most slowed down in the set, and “The Pool,” which stood out for its epic instrumental break.
Stephen got the whole crowd involved for his performance of “Lady by the Sea”, a song responsible for launching the attention he’s so far accumulated on social media. He then played another song off of his debut album Easy on My Eyes titled “Please Don't Go Home Yet”. The vulnerable and slowed down song had the whole audience emotional due to its sentimental and romantic themes. The set continued with the songs “Mountain Peaks” and “See the Light”, which offered a break from his intense themes with some chill, light-hearted tunes. Stephen Sanchez also performed his most recent single “Evangeline”, which seemed to be a crowd favorite with fans singing every lyric regardless of the song’s freshness. Stephen then pleased the crowd by playing a new unreleased song titled “Only Girl”, which is an upbeat party song that lifted the energy in the room way up. Before his last song, Stephen made sure to introduce his band, consisting of Jesse Houle on bass, Watson Maack on drums, Anson Eggerss on keys, and Brooks Gengenbach on guitar. Stephen closed the show with a performance of his most well known tune, “Until I Found You”, which went viral on Tiktok upon its release. The whole crowd swayed to the romantic song as the set played out. Stephen’s performance showed off the singer’s amazing stage presence, charm, and unparalleled confidence. Between banter with the crowd and a dynamic set which showed off his variety as an artist, Stephen Sanchez certainly made an impact on World Cafe Live’s music hall.
Buy Tickets to the Stephen Sanchez In Person tour HERE.
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