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Review Mon Dec 07 2015
The front row of any show is reserved for an artist's die hard fans. It's a coveted spot that guarantees at least 10 likes and three retweets for the average social media user.
Using proper hashtags generate more feedback, and by sun-up, you'll wake up to an overwhelming amount of IG love and stacks-on-stacks of comments from close friends, frenemies and exes.
Now, getting there is only half the battle; the other requires patience.
If you're a pro, you know that timing is everything, and Jeremih put his most devoted fans to the test last night with a pop-up show at Double Door to promote Late Nights: The Album, a collection of songs that tell the classic tale of an R&B singer: a hopeless romantic who advantageously flirts with lust in search of finding love.
The all ages show, which warranted a free entrance with RSVP, came with only one guarantee: first come, first serve. That, in and of itself, was enough to trigger and ignite the show's hype, which was timestamped to begin at 7 p.m.
Two hours passed, and couples and small clusters of tight-knit friends designated one person to save their spots, as others trailed back and forth from the bar to the stage with a bathroom break in between. Their excitement was greeted by restlessness, as soon as they reached the bottom of their plastic cups.
"This is starting to feel like 'Erykah Badu' status," whispered one girl to her friend. The two later headed to the bathroom to redo their make up for a picture-perfect selfie.
Another girl, who secured her front row spot, came equipped with three cans of PBRs and placed them at the foot of the stage. Moments later, she pulled out a book from her backpack and devoured a couple chapters. She mechanically moved her shoulders to a generic playlist that hummed overhead.
Three girls worked out the kinks to their twerks, while professing their undying love for Jeremih. One stood closely by the security guard and tried to squeeze as much information out of him as she could.
The stage was already pre-lit with pink and purple lights that provided a creamy, dazed landscape that undoubtedly matched Jeremih's album cover. Dark shadows from the venue's crew created spikes of elation that were quickly defused as the stage lights revealed their true identities.
Perhaps, this was just the perfect set up for Jeremih's "late night." This show, after all, was a secret.
The stage lights blinked white. Conversations were quickly muted and overcasted by loud shrills as members of his live band took their places.
Jeremih climbed onto the stage dripping in dark attire. His eyes were shielded by black shades, and his fuzzy bear hood marked his entrance. He opened with "Late Night," as if he had already known how this night was going to end: "Late night, just another show / Bad bitches showin' me the under clothes / They be on Twitter like 'Yo, you tore it up.'"
It was no secret that Jeremih was home: "People always askin' me why I stay / I tell them Chi-town, my town."
He decorated the stage with two back-up dancers that catered to his every lyric, as he transcended into a short list of heavy-bass, sweaty, sexy club bangers.
Although Late Nights is only Jeremih's third studio album, his features with hard-hitting rappers in songs like "Down On Me," "That Way" and "The Body" have become an instructional guide for backseat (and bedroom) romance.
His rendition of "Birthday Sex," an obligatory strip-tease song, was accompanied by off-key, high-pitched voices who wished Jeremih would bless them with that same "passion" and "action," and he did: "If you're sexy and you know it, clap your hands."
As Jeremih prepped for "Planes," which is featured on his new album with J. Cole, Chicago's very own Chance the Rapper stepped on stage to take his place. The duo descended on a seductive trip and cooed, "Have you ever read 'The World Is Yours' on a blimp?"
His charm cast a spell on the crowd, and they fell for him harder and faster. Jeremih serenaded the crowd with "Oui," and he extended his arm out, making eye contact with every fangirl within his reach.
"There's no we without you and I," he sang. Jeremih ended his performance with "Pass Dat," a song dedicated to his Day-1 team, who scattered the stage with their cell phones in hand to capture every last bit of the moment.
He began to glide from one end of the stage to the next, high-fiving, hugging and briefly holding the hands of his ride-or-die fans. One girl, who tucked her right beneath her bra strap, wrapped her arms around his neck, and the two made a swift exchange.
"What just happened?" her friends asked, as they hovered over her shoulders. "I don't know," she replied with laughter. Her eyes were wide and struck with awe.
For a moment, she just saw a glimpse of "Paradise": "Oh I knew life would be alright / But who could've known it'd be this good?"