LIVE: PJ Morton, Dawn Richard, & Aaron Camper, Highline Ballroom, NYC
by Keya Maeesha
It’s official. Spring is here. Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and good music has made its way to NYC once again. May 1st wasn’t just an ordinary night in the town. No..Tonight, Highline Ballroom set out to prove (once again) why they remain one of the most highly attended concert venues in New York City.
Aaron Camper opened the show. Admittedly, I wasn’t familiar with his music before this night. He stood on stage it was almost an angelic light beamed above him. His voice is magnetic. Performing some of his original material from his mixtape, Welcome To My World: The Mixtape Vol. I, the Maryland native set an amazing tone for the evening. In the middle of his set, he took the crowd to another level by covering “Water Runs Dry” by Boyz II Men and leading a Notorious B.I.G. influenced jam session. I am a fan of this young man’s aura. He seemed very comfortable on that Highline stage as if he owned it. His appeal was so strong that I wouldn’t be surprised if a young lady threw her unmentionables at him with her phone number attached.
Up next was the beautiful, talented, and possibly my only favorite member for Danity Kane, Dawn Richards. Can we pause for a second and say that this girl OWNS her audience? Before she stepped on stage…before she even got to introduce herself…the audience went crazy. Opening her set with tracks from Diddy Dirty Money, Richards embraced her audience with an open heart, a loud voice, and an amazing experience. She continued her set by performing remakes of Frank Ocean’s “Novacane” and Jay-Z and Kanye’s “Ni***s in Paris”. Her voice is so rich and pure that its a wonder why she isn’t selling out her own tour. He recently released album, Armor On, appeared to be a crowd favorite as everyone chimed in while her sang “Change”. She ended her set with “Bombs” which is her leading single off of the album. With her background dancers and band, Dawn Richard is definitely an awesome performer. Not only does she engage her audience, but her warm personality, dope voice, and comedic personality make for a very well rounded performer. I was quite impressed.
But now, it was time for the main event, PJ Morton. The Young Money signee made sure that tonight was about audience. Although the stage set up was a little different, you can see how eager the fans were to be in direct view of the artist, as the entire crowd shifted stage left to make sure they could experience him behind his piano. And so he begins…performing many of the crowd favorites such as “Don’t Ever Leave”, “The One”, “Mountains And Molehills”, “Third Degree”, and “I Need You”. Morton has a way of making each person in the audience feel as if he is putting on a personal show just for them. He’s amazing moving from keyboard to piano. Morton is one heck of a performer. His adorable smile alone is enough to get you to be a fan of his music if you weren’t one before. Continuing his performance with tracks from his recently released project, Following My First Mind, the audience watched Morton mature right before their very eyes. “Heavy” and “Don’t Break My Heart” were a few of the songs performed. I enjoy the way Morton shares the stage with his band members, allowing their talents to show and be felt by the onlookers. Morton is it. Bottom line.
It is clear to see that Highline did it again. There is no doubt about that. Thank you to the amazing PJ Morton, the beautiful Dawn Richard, and the captivating Aaron Camper for sharing their talents with NYC. Once again, another night in city is enough to make you fall in love over and over again.