Quickly rising, London-born star Ella Mai takes inspiration from the more prominent names of ‘90s-era R&B like Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys and Beyonce. And with the release of their self-titled album last year, the singer has embarked on the aptly named “Debut Tour” to bring her niche sound to the masses. Her performance at House of Blues over the weekend brought out the diehards, with a massive line that swept almost the entirety of the second floor leading up to the third-floor music hall.

Photo by Josh Cobb.

The Stans

Hip, young dressers mixed comfortably with an older, polo-wearing crowd. The people were there to sing, and it seemed like the mass of fans knew each and every word, at times even taking over for the singer at her request. Couples were as far as you could see, interlocking during more passionate moments.

Photo by Josh Cobb.

The Stage

The lighting gave off a heavy club vibe that helped set the tone for the evening, lending to the dancing and tone of sensuality. Mai, dressed in baggy streetwear that closely resembled a Kanye ™️ original, was accompanied by two backup singers who doubled as dancers, giving off distinct ‘90s-era R&B music video ambience during the performance.

Photo by Josh Cobb.

The Setlist

  • “Good Bad”
  • “Dangerous”
  • “Sauce”
  • “Whatchamacallit”
  • “Shot Clock”
  • “Boo’d Up”
  • “Everything”
  • “Anymore”
  • “She Don’t”
  • “Own It”
  • “Run My Mouth”
  • “Gut Feeling”
  • “24/7 (Meek Mill cover)”
  • “Close”
  • “Trip”
  • “Naked”
Photo by Josh Cobb.

The Standouts

There was a moment when Mai left the stage to allow the audience to get down with themselves, a definite power move if there ever was one. The young soul singer had an infectious personality that shined when speaking with the crowd, leaving no one to wonder why she has become an internationally loved figure in the span of a few years. Her delivery and interaction with the crowd involved intimate stories that drove home the connection with the stans, giving credence to her aspirations of pop stardom and reverence.

Photo by Josh Cobb.

The Sign-Off

Ella Mai delivered in folds to her adoring fans at House of Blues, helping to cement her place in the modern pop pantheon.

The Score: ♥♥♥♥