REVIEW: Kali Uchis Almost Did Not Make Her Show at The New Parish

Once she was on stage, the delayed start of the show was all but forgotten



The beginning of a tour for any artist is a time of excitement. If you’re an international superstar like Beyoncé, traveling from one stop to the next is a breeze, thanks to private jets. However, for up-and-coming artists like Colombian-American Karly Loaiza, better known as Kali Uchis, getting to Oakland's New Parish from Las Vegas yesterday proved to be anything but exciting.

Word of a delay began circulating earlier in the day: The New Parish tweeted out there would be a time change due to a traveling delay. Was Kali Uchis going to make it? Fans had lined up outside the venue since the early morning. After multiple time changes, doors finally opened at 8 p.m., an hour and a half after the original time.

Kali Uchis’ fans do not play. As soon as the doors opened, fans rushed to the front of the stage and to the upstairs mezzanine; the closer they could be to their idol, the better. Kali Uchis played a successful set at Outside Lands in August, and appeared onstage with Gorillaz to perform “She’s My Collar,” a track she’s featured on.

For the Oakland show, Phony Ppl, a band from Brooklyn that is also acting as her backing band for the tour, opened the show. The combination of funk, soulful R&B, and hip-hop set the tone perfectly. The delayed start was all but forgotten.

When Kali Uchis finally got on stage around 9:40 p.m., the crowd erupted in screams. The tall, slender singer was ready to woo her fans. She's as soft-spoken when she addresses her fans as she is when she sings. She explained how her bus driver got sick halfway through the trip and had to be rushed to the hospital. They couldn’t get any merchandise out of the bus to bring to the show.

Kali Uchis' set list was short — not surprisingly, considering she only has one mixtape, 2012’s Drunken Babble, and one EP, 2015’s Por Vida. This year she released two singles off her forthcoming album: “Tyrant,” and “Nuestro Planeta,” both of which she performed. “Loner” and “Ridin Round” were two of the favorites of the night.

At times, the band — specifically the bass and drums — overpowered her, drowning out her vocals. The intimacy of the venue proved difficult with the live musicians.

For her encore, Kali Uchis performed two Latinx classics: the first, a cover of the1959 bolero “Sabor A Mi,” popularized by Mexican trio Los Panchos; the second (which she also performed during her set at Outside Lands), “Suavemente,” the 1998 merengue classic by Puerto Rican artist Elvis Crespo.

If Kali Uchis' career continues the way it has, she soon won’t have to worry about traveling issues. Lana Del Rey announced that Uchis will be one of the openers for her LA to the Moon tour, which is set to begin in January. Uchis can also add "Grammy-nominated artist" to her name. Colombian artist Juanes’ song “El Ratico,” which Uchis is featured on, was nominated for Record of the Year for this year’s Latin Grammys, which will take place on Nov. 16.

Kali Uchis’ tour in the United States continues in Arizona, Florida, New York, and will conclude in Seattle on Oct. 31. The international tour will take her through London, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, and Argentina.