At the Danforth Music Hall last night, Blood Orange took to the stage to perform his most recent album Freetown Sound to a sold out crowd. The show began in parallel with the album itself, with the poem titled “For Colored Girls (The Missy Elliot Poem)” spoken purposefully by Ashlee Haze over the loudspeakers. This set an atmospheric tone for the whole show to follow, allowing for waves of pleasure and ideas of acceptance to waft through the crowd, along with the giddy and growing anticipation for Blood Orange to emerge. The spotlights cast their ethereal beams in the direction of a low set keyboard on the left side of the stage, which is where Blood Orange sat to begin the show with his first single from the album, “Augustine”.
Some of the highlights from the evening being the performances of the songs “E.V.P”, “Time Will Tell”, “Best To You”, “Hadron Collider”, and “Uncle ACE” only to name a few of the outstanding moments. Dev Hynes facilitates the composition and unity of a unique and overwhelming performance. He is in the centre of so many intricate pieces that work together to create “Blood Orange”. On stage at any given moment a wide array of musical instruments are put to use, including saxophone, bass, flute, drums, synthesizer, keyboard, cello, electric guitar, and others. Your senses are overcome by angelic voices – not only Blood Orange’s himself – but also the voices of two backup singers. Your eyes are sufficiently saturated by the sight of Dev Hynes’ Michael Jackson-esque dance moves. The night was one to remember, and it is easy to understand why Blood Orange has had the success that he has.
“Freetown Sound” was released on June 28th, 2016 (three days before it was scheduled to be released) and it is the third album by Dev Hynes under the name “Blood Orange”. The album features notable names such as Carly Rae Jepsen, Nelly Furtado, Zuri Marley, to name a few. Blood Orange regularly uses his platform to bring awareness to racial issues, political issues, gender issues, and other social topics present in today’s society. The album “Freetown Sound” was said by Hynes to be made for those who were told they were “not black enough, too black, too queer, not queer the right way, the under appreciated, it’s a clapback.
“Dev Hynes is a true performer, making music for over a decade now. He is an evolution, and his versatility has allowed for him to achieve great success experimenting with genre. His music is powerful and full of life.