Nearly a year and a half ago, I had the opportunity to see Gabriel Gárzon-Montano perform in an intimate venue here in San Francisco. The crowd was small but the atmosphere was deferential to the rising R&B star. Reserved, soulful artistry was the theme of that show, held shortly after the release of Gárzon-Montano’s sophomore album Jardín.

This week, Gárzon-Montano played a much different show at the Warfield in San Francisco. Larger venue, larger crowd; an eager yet uninitiated group more rabidly interested in the headliner of the night, Kali Uchis. Nevertheless, Gabriel Gárzon-Montano put on an intense spectacle. The performance featured interpretive dancing, multiple costume changes, and even a shirtless stint. The set was condensed to include just his most popular songs, like “6 8”, which kick-started his rise in popularity. Gárzon-Montano did his best to match the energy and performance style of the evening’s fiery headliner, but did so in his own way. It was an interesting experience to see transformation of his performing style, reflective of his growth and flexibility as a performing artist.

The audience seemed quite appreciative and genial to Gabriel Gárzon-Montano, but the main draw of the evening was undoubtedly Kali Uchis. Between sets, the all-ages crowd was chanting her name in anticipation. During some songs, Kali only had to hit the accents and runs; enthusiastic fans sang all her lines for her. One of the highlights of her set was an electrifying cover of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love”, a late 70’s jam that surely everyone has heard at some point in their life. Throughout the night, Kali wooed the audience with her singing chops, seductive dancing, and charismatic likeability.


If you’re a fan of either artist, check out their upcoming tour dates here. More shots from the evening below:

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