Last night (June 29), Sam Smith stormed Madison Square Garden with his The Thrill of It All tour for the first of two performances at the venue. The English crooner played a mix of old and new material, delivering the masterclass vocals synonymous with his name. Here are five highlights from the show.
Cam Opens The Show
“I love people that are comfortable in their own skin. I think that’s why I like Sam so much,” country singer Cam proclaimed during her opening set. The “Burning House” singer was prepared to celebrate the last few days of Pride Month, bringing gay cowboys to the stage while she dazzled in a sequined, rainbow gown.
No Debbie Downers Here
At the start of his set, Smith acknowledged the gloomy nature of his music: “I have to admit, about a year ago when I sat down to think about this show, I was a little bit scared because I realized my music is a little bit f–king depressing sometimes,” he said to a laughing crowd. “I really, really, really did not want you guys to leave this room tonight feeling sad or feeling like shit. So we worked really, really hard on making sure that you leave Madison Square Garden tonight feeling happy and full of love.” He then delivered a stunning version of the song that “changed everything” for him, “Lay Me Down.”
A Bond Moment
The most striking visual of the evening came during Smith’s performance of “Writing’s On the Wall.” The singer stood on an elevated platform that positioned him in front of a spotlight, effectively evoking iconic James Bond imagery while he performed the theme from the spy thriller that won him an Oscar award.
Singing with Pride
“I am a proud, gay man — and if you are proud of who you are, let me see your hands!” Smith commanded before seguing segued into “Him.” While Smith delivered a vocally flawless set, it was this roof-rattling anthem that really allowed his voice to soar.
Smith returned to the stage for a three-song encore, the first being a stirring rendition of “Palace.” Positioned at the top of a golden spiral staircase, the star was accompanied by backup singer Lucy Jules, who harmonized with him from her own raised platform. Smith closed his set with a one-two punch of “Pray” and “Stay With Me” as red confetti fell from the rafters.