If you told me seven years ago that I'd be a photographer and also have the opportunity to shoot Lauren Daigle, there's no way I'd believe you! That seven years ago was the first time I got to see Lauren at the start of her career, on tour with Winter Jam in 2016. Since then, the 32-year-old GRAMMY winner has evolved. The Lauren Daigle of six years ago didn't have that groove, that swagger, or that New Orleans feel within her music. The Look Up Child (2018) artist embraced a new sound that doesn't box her in. Instead, this sound allows her to reach a whole new audience. Coming off the heels of her brand-new self-titled album, Daigle has embarked on a fall tour called "The Kaleidescope Tour" that'll hit 30 cities across the country. On October 28th, in Columbus, Ohio, I got to experience this new evolved Lauren... and what a treat it was!
Opening the show was indie, folk artist Josh Garrels who was really impressive. I'm not familiar with Garrels, so this was my introduction to him. Highlights from his set include "At the Table" and "Ulysses." Garrels' unique voice makes it so easy to listen to him. I highly recommend him for my indie and folk people. Glad I got to experience his pure talent!
Next up was Lauren. To begin her set, "Drink Water" by Jon Batiste played to get the energy going. You can feel the anticipation rising as suddenly the arena goes dark. The Ohio crowd let out cheers as the Kaleidescope Tour is officially underway! Daigle takes the stage to a jazzy NOLA inspired intro that leads into "These Are the Days." It's a perfect opener as Daigle struts the catwalk with her three-piece brass trio, along with her background vocalist. The arena is alive and the energy keeps flowing into "Waiting" and "New," which features a group of kids chosen to dance on the stage with Lauren herself. I don't know how some people could sit during these songs. I couldn't help myself but to smile and move! Daigle brings a fun and inviting energy throughout the whole evening.
Highlights of the night are extensive, but the ones that stick out are "Valuable," "Rescue," the groovy "Kaleidoscope Jesus," the bombastic "Turbulent Skies" (which goes craaazy live), the driving song "Rolling Stones," which the Columbus crowd loved, and "How Can It Be," which features a beautiful ending showcasing Daigle's impressive background vocalist. The night also included a cool acoustic B-Stage segment, featuring "Saint Fernidad" (possibly my favorite from the self-titled album), "Inherited," and the classic hymn "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus," the latter of which featured a duet with opener Josh Garrels. Daigle explained how this moment of the night was inspired by the famous Blue Bird Cafe, located in Nashville, Tennessee. To conclude the evening, Daigle finds herself in the audience greeting people on the floor while singing "You Say," the song that changed her career.
The Kaleidescope Tour is a colorful, glowing dream that features top notch production, a well-executed band, topped off with beautiful vocals. Daigle clearly cares about the experience the audience gets. I saw excellence Saturday night, but I also saw the joy of the Lord alive as well. Blessed and thankful are the words that come to mind when I look back on that night. When the time comes (and Lord, I hope it does), I'll be more than honnored to cover Lauren Daigle in concert again.
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