The Time I Cried At A Sampha Show

by - May 23, 2024

Photo courtesy of Dana Gorab

I never book anything in advance in my life, but when Sampha's concert tickets went on sale before the release of his latest album, Lahai, I had the intuition that I just couldn't miss seeing his performance.

I got very intrigued by the choice of venue: a circus in the middle of Paris. I had seen snippets where he performed one of my favorite songs of his, “Without”, in a circular set-up. His entire band played percussion and did a mash-up with another song I love from the 90s, “Gabriel” by Roy Davis Jr. and Peven Everett.

From then I knew he was offering an unforgettable experience, and his latest album wasn’t even out yet. I had to rush and grab those two tickets for my best friend and I. Because I'm not used to having things planned ahead, I had completely forgotten I had a concert that day. I love it when that happens and it feels like a surprise I kept to myself.

An hour before the concert, I came to my friend’s place for us to go together… only to find him extremely sick. Food poisoning, no way to get out of bed… I didn’t want to go without him, but because we couldn’t re-sell the tickets 30 minutes before the show started, I thought about finding somebody who would want to go with me. The only person I found available was my cousin. He had never heard a single Sampha song so I was happy to share this experience with him and make him discover such an incredible artist. Especially live.

The first song starts. It’s “Plastic 100ºC”, and the goosebumps come instantly. Feeling the artist being so connected to his music through his movements and perfect vocals made me tear up. But what made me really emotional was to see my cousin cry because he’s not the type of person to showcase his emotions. We both felt really connected to the present, and that doesn’t happen often.

This is what Sampha offered us that night. The raw vulnerability and shared emotion made the concert an unforgettable memory, binding us together in a moment of pure, unfiltered humanity. It was a night of unexpected beauty, and I left the concert feeling deeply moved and grateful. The magic of live music truly transformed an ordinary evening into something extraordinary, a memory we will both cherish forever.

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