Multi-hyphenate singer and producer Fred Again brought dancing and infectious melodies to a sold-out Mission Ballroom on Sunday.
Duo Joy Anonymous opened the night with crooning, silky vocals over hard-hitting bass and layers of dynamic drums. Producer/DJ Louis Curran held down the fort instrumentally while Henry Counsell paced the stage, belting lyrics with gusto and passion. The crowd loved them, with an audible “holy shit” erupting from just behind me during one of Henry’s particular impressive displays of vocal range.
After a brief set change, Fred Again graced the stage opening with “Kyle (i found you),” one of the defining tracks from his 2021 album Actual Life (April 14 – December 17 2020). Text and images flooded three massive LED panels behind him, reading “thank you for being here” as he gave the audience an enormous grin. In his signature style, video clips played alongside vocal loops of the friends and artists sampled across his vast repertoire—a close-up clip of singer-songwriter Dermot Kennedy filled the stage during “Dermot (see yourself in my eyes),” the same occurring for most songs and lending the performance a unique multi-media texture. This style of naming tracks after their contributors is consistent across Fred’s two solo albums Actual Life and Actual Life 2, both of which have garnered him a massive, dedicated fanbase, and feels representative of Fred’s personal connection with (and appreciation for) the individuals whose unique voices make his sounds so diverse and compelling.
“It’s my life’s honor to play this for you,” he said, an infectious smile on his face. Gratitude and joy emanating from the audience were palpable too, the emotional and ethereal charge of the music rippling through the sold-out room as propulsive bass, buoyant melodic riffs, and masterfully chopped lyrical loops kept the crowd dancing all night.