What started out as an intimate crowd of 20 grew into the sold-out show for Shoffy and RKCB at the Valley Bar in downtown Phoenix on January 26.
Around 8 p.m., the small crowd of 20 steadily grew into the concert hall-filling 200 as Valley Bar employees set up the stage. Shoffy walked out wearing a blue baseball hat that says Cool Again, an Adidas zip-up sweatshirt, a black T-shirt underneath, and black sweatpants.
He immediately began plucking his guitar and started his set with “Different Skies,” from Shoffy’s self-titled 2017 debut. Once the song was over, Shoffy greeted the audience and thanked everyone for coming out. He explained Phoenix was the opening tour date and it was his first time in the city, which caused the crowd to whoop and holler in joy. He then introduced the next song in the set, “Motions.”
The song starts out with soft guitar strums and Shoffy builds the song with the beats and melodies produced with his computer. As the song builds, the atmosphere grows with the flashing and flickering lights, which is something Shoffy highlighted as a new feature of his tour.
The lights were long, narrow squares that ran behind Shoffy. They were set up as three columns with four long boxes in each column and were connected with the setlist on Shoffy’s computer. Each song caused a different light show to appear.
Shoffy then transitioned to Direction, a song from his 2018 album Lenses, and explained he plans to play more from this album and he hopes everyone enjoys it. The crowd cheered, pleased with his decision.
Although the song was never introduced, the first three notes caused the audience to cheer wildly with praise. Cool Again, one of Shoffy’s most popular songs from Lenses, creates a dancing environment, and the growing audience bounced and sang every word. Shoffy moved from playing his guitar to his computer and sound system to play this crowd favorite.
“Yeah, that song was called Cool Again. You guys have been listening to that a lot. Thank you so much,” Shoffy said, explaining his habit of watching the Spotify stream.
Before his next song, there was a small technical difficulty with the lighting. Shoffy stopped the song within ten seconds and said, “Hold on, one sec,” and shuffled over to his laptop to make the adjustments; he fixed the technical difficulty immediately and the lights sparked back up.
“Sorry about that,” he says. Shoffy remained calm and began strumming his guitar with This Land is Ours, the song he wanted to play before the lighting malfunction.
“This next song is by one of my favorite artists,” Shoffy says introducing his cover of Hallelujah, originally written by Leonard Cohen but sang by many artists including Jeff Buckley and John Cale, which helped the song gain popularity.
The entire hall echoed with the 200 guests singing the chorus and swaying with the powerful melody. “I can hear all of you,” Shoffy says, “You sound really good.”
The hall chattered excitedly after the song, and Shoffy played two songs from his 2016 EP somewhere between nostalgia and paradise, Movin On and Goodnight right after.
To go back into his new album, Shoffy moved over to his computer and played “Against the World” and followed up with “Let Go Today.” By this time in his set, the crowd was moving closer to the stage and guests are dancing to Shoffy’s beats.
In a previous interview, Shoffy discusses one of his major inspirations, Frank Ocean, and did a cover of “Slide,” originally done by Ocean along with Calvin Harris and the group Migos. Shoffy played the tune on his guitar as well as the original on the computer. Shoffy presented his own take on Ocean’s part to the song and used his computer to layer the rap verse by Migos and the famous voice saying, “I might,” which audience members shouted out throughout the song.
Guitar riffs kicked off “Stand Together,” the last song played from Lenses for the evening. The crowd snapped and stepped to the beat until the song finished.
To slow things down for the evening, Shoffy played the 2016 single “Lonely Up Here,” which is also on his 2017 EP This Land is Ours. The performance of the song was simple, with only a few spotlights and Shoffy strumming the guitar.
To take the energy back up, Shoffy closed his set with “Takes My Body Higher.” This upbeat song caused the crowd to jump to the beat and the neon purple and green lights pulsing with the beat. “Takes My Body Higher” caused a lot of growth for Shoffy, with over 57 million streams on Spotify, and the song demonstrated its popularity by the excited shouts and people singing every lyric.
“Thank you, Phoenix, you guys were incredible,” and with that Shoffy took down his equipment and helped set up RKCB, the closer to the sold-out show. The warm up artist, Wanderer kicked off the night with a set he described as “a chill way to start the evening,” which built into the high-energy performances from Shoffy and RKCB.
A lot of gratitude was expressed throughout the night. All three artists performing were very excited to open their tour and perform in Phoenix. They stayed by the merchandise table and talked with guests about the show expressed their thanks to everyone for coming out and watching them. Shoffy, as well as the other artists, spent the last bits of the evening taking photos and selling merchandise, closing the positive and happy night for guests and artists alike.
This Land is Ours
Against the World
Let Go Today
Lonely Up Here
Takes My Body Higher