Article and Photos by Andrés Alvarado
Spectacularly talented multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Dev Hynes, also known as Blood Orange, provided the city of Atlanta with back-to-back nights of wicked tunes and otherworldly showmanship. Despite the current disarray swirling around the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, host venue Variety Playhouse was packed front-to-back and side-to-side with fans of all ages and of all demographics. For the risk and for the love to his music, Mr. Hynes handed over to the onsite crowd a night soon to not be forgotten; full of top-level musicianship and a bottomless dose of the feels.
For roughly 75 minutes per performance, the British virtuoso was pure genius. Navigating the fine lines between an intimate tranquil performance and an all out dance party, Blood Orange and his band strive for a symphonic balanced attack to the senses. From showing off his upright cello chops to tickling some piano keys, shredding on his black Fender axe or crooning gorgeous notes, Dev Hynes is a master of his craft. Blood Orange is an artist’s artist, Blood Orange is the embodiment of rhythmic art.
Naturally, for all talents that Dev Hynes brings to each gathering, he needs assistance in delivering the goods. While Blood Orange is the main attraction, he unselfishly shares the spotlight with his immensely gifted backup singers, Ian Isiah and Eva Tolkin — both of soothing and silky singing tones. Additionally, opening act, Tei Shi, cameos in wonderfully on their hit single “Hope.” With all vocalists hitting on all cylinders, the atmosphere was, quite simply, intoxicating.
In the end, it is an understatement to call a Blood Orange gig “stunning.” The English superstar is a devout guru to his technique. Under the constant dark strobes, Hynes continuously lights up the ambience with his flair and falsetto. For 75 minutes, the pandemic scares were forgotten. For 75 minutes, Blood Orange dazzled the smitten Atlantans packing the Variety Playhouse halls.