NEW YORK—At this stage in her career, Alessia Cara isn't so much a phenomenon as she is a force to be reckoned with. In less than two years, the 20-year-old singer has transcended from doe-eyed ingénue to full on seasoned pop star. So while many wait their entire careers for a spot on stage at New York's famed Radio City Music Hall, in Alessia's case it felt like perfect timing.
Her New York City stop for Part II of her Know-It-All Tour is the kickoff of several North American dates, as her debut album of the same name, Know It All, is still churning out radio hits, most recently the self-acceptance anthem "Scars To Your Beautiful."
The Radio City audience was studded with girls who near-perfectly attempted their own ensemble variations of Alessia's aesthetic, as the singer's casual approach to fashion has become her trademark. Opener Sebastian Kole—who co-penned a considerable portion of Cara's album (including her breakout hit "Here")—warmed up the crowd with a masterful cover of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" along with a handful of cuts off his upcoming debut album Soup. Other openers Nathan Sykes and Ruth B were warmly received with their own respective takes on pop, as the crowd remained politely entertained until their fave hit the stage.
Large screens accented the venue with Alessia Cara's "beanie low" logo on the screens set to ambient hums from Cara herself. The Canadian artist hit the stage, aptly decked in a "Canadian tux" of a blue denim jacket and black denim jeans. She opened with the melodic "I'm Yours," followed by her EP's title track "4 Pink Walls." Recent hit "Wild Things" came next, complete with Alessia banging on a drum to the beat, along with a series of cuts showcasing her flawless vocals despite her suffering from a cold and apologizing if her voice sounded "phlegmy."
Sebastian Kole re-emerged for their duet "Stone," and Alessia picked up a guitar to cover Frank Ocean's early hit "Swim Good." With all due respect to Frank, Alessia made the song her own. Troye Sivan wasn't present for their duet "Wild," but Cara held her own solo on the song. "17" followed, as the screens showed home movies from the siren's childhood, including cute bits of her performing in her living room as a toddler.
She addressed the crowd, starting with the girls, to discuss the pressures of the media and being forced to look a certain way. What followed was a poem from a girl named Lexie Louise (aka @agirlwhostayed) about almost taking her own life but choosing to live. It was a tear-jerking idyllic way to open her latest hit "Scars To Your Beautiful." Closing with her very first hit "Here" (and adding a brand new verse), Cara bounced off stage and returned with the encore "My Song" with the screens displaying tour footage.
While Alessia Cara's meteoric rise to fame could have easily turned the second leg of her headlining tour into more of a spectacle, she opted to use minimal effects and focus on the music. Here is an artist who just left her teens yet has already figured out that remaining true to herself and her craft has brought a crowd who not only cheers for her music, but celebrates her success. Perhaps she really does know it all.
Revisit when Alessia Cara stopped by REVOLT Live.