By Graham King
April 5th, 2019
On a stage set to look like an auto shop, complete with racks of rims, stacks of tires, and a custom soda machine, Smino (née Christopher Smith, Jr.) sauntered out Friday night to a roar of approval. Flashing a smile brighter than his candy red pants, the native of St. Louis, Missouri ordered for the lights to be brought up, gazing out over a sea of admirers at the Vogue Theatre as if to confirm they were at attention.
Backed by a full rhythm section, Smino commanded the venue, blazing through a series of hits in a manner that made it clear performing comes as naturally to him as breathing. Dancing was his preferred mode of transportation, even in the breaks between songs. He got everyone in on the act, from having his DJ run to center stage to help him perform early 2000s dance hits like Yung Joc’s “It’s Goin Down” to pulling up an audience member to romp around on stage.
Before launching into encore track “KLINK,” a high-energy tune off his most recent album NOIR, he made the crowd hold up hearts and swear to leave it all on the floor, as he had been doing all night. Like it was even a question.