All In favor of Keshi being the new prototype “Boy Next Door,” raise your hand. 🙋🏽♀️
If you are unfamiliar with Keshi, his music has that lo-fi study vibe. His sound is soft and melodic, like a summer sunset accompanied by beautifully thought-out guitar cords. Do yourself a favor and skim through his current discography, you can tell he’s on track to be music’s next big star.
Please note: This post may contain affiliate links.
When I first got to the Fonda Theatre on June 14th, I was surrounded by Keshi fans and music lovers eager to see the Sugar Land native’s live performance as well as opening acts Rei Brown and georgee. As I took my place in the photo pit, I saw a young woman standing in the front clutching a bouquet of lilies.
“Are those flowers for Keshi? They are beautiful. What brings you to today’s show? Why do you love Keshi so much?” I asked her over the booming music.
“As a fellow Vietnamese person, I was just glade to see another Vietnamese artist come up like that,” she replied. Another young woman in the back agreed, as another inquired: “what is the question?”
“Why do you like Keshi?”
“I don’t know, I like went through a lot with him in high school, when I was like, not in a good state. I just really like his music. Like his voice. Like how he is.”
“Why do you like Keshi?”
“Oh My God. Well first of all, me and my girlfriend just broke up.”
[A collective group of awes breaks out.]
“So this album and like the metaphors in it were really touching. Like religious or not, it really hit a certain [way], you know. That’s why I’m sad he’s not doing “Limbo,” because I think I related to that one the most. Especially like post break up, like, I kept Gabriel on repeat.
So it’s kind of like a comfort album in a way, but I love Keshi because of his metaphors and the way he like speaks to people through his music because, I don’t know him, but I feel like I sat down and got advice from him you know.”
“His voice is so comforting,” shares another fan.
As soon as Keshi hit the stage, it felt like pandemonium erupted. The screams, cheers, and energy from everyone in the Fonda was on 100. Everyone was chanting the lyrics to his 20-song set from beginning to end.
I’ve been to a ton of shows and I haven’t experienced many with this type of energy and love.
Besides the casual screams of “take your shirt off!” and “Keshi, I love you!,” I caught a lot of beautiful moments as I made my way thought the crowd. In the back, I glanced over a couple slow dancing to “Touch.” To the left of the stage, a group of friends played a guessing game about what song was coming next before exploding into happiness. When “Westside” began, a girl started shaking her boyfriend immediately as she jumped as high as she could. You can’t tell me that wasn’t her song.
Everyone genuinely seemed entranced by Keshi’s music. Before the show, I shared memorable conversations with the fans about what he meant to them. Whether they loved him because of something cultural like being the mainstream representation of a Vietnamese-American or Asian male that they wanted and needed, or merely just connected to his music because of his words and voice, it was a heightened experience. I could see it in their eyes, they really loved his music. They support his artistry. He’s going to be a big star. The fans will make sure of it.
I highly recommend you check out Keshi’s album, Gabriel. I have it on repeat. Tell a friend.
Photography & Words by Asha Moné