From effortless riffs to groovy dance moves, Grammy-nominated singer Omar Apollo poured his all into the last stop of his ‘Prototype’ tour at Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom Nov. 30.
Omar Apollo gave an “Endlessly” entertaining show to a sold-out crowd on Nov. 30 at the Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom on his latest “Prototype” Tour. This marks the artist’s second time in Chicago this year after his “Desvelado” Tour, where he performed at the Riviera Theatre on May 5.
Since then, Apollo has seen a significant increase in his following, as the song “Evergreen (You Didn’t Deserve Me At All)” from his April 8 album release “Ivory” went viral as an audio on TikTok, gaining traction.
The entire concert was delayed for a couple of hours due to travel complications at the Canada-United States border from Apollo’s previous concert in Toronto, according to security on site. These claims were not confirmed by official tour staff.
R&B singer and Chicago native Ravyn Lenae opened the evening, performing an array of songs from her May 20 album “Hypnos.” The towering, regal halls of the Aragon carried Lanae’s angelic vocals to the ceiling as she swayed and sang.
Soft blue ambient lighting and remnants of fog from Lanae’s show set the stage for Apollo’s long-awaited performance.
Bassist Manny Barajas and guitarist Oscar Santander were the first to emerge from backstage to a cheery, welcoming crowd. Suddenly, the instantly-recognizable opening lines from his title track “Ivory” blasted from the speakers. The crowd erupted in joy when Apollo’s silhouette became barely visible.
The singer-songwriter donned an all-black two piece set covered in gold sparkles. A single red light shone down on him as he spun around in unison to the music, glimmering with every move.
Apollo opened with “Killing Me,” the sixth track on “Ivory.”
“What I do makes me wonder if I’m alright / Holding back feelings like it’s the end of my life,” Apollo sang, his voice just barely audible over the fans’ singing along.
The 25-year-old followed with “Talk” and “Ugotme,” a song from his debut EP “Stereo.”
“Cause baby there’s something you know / But clearly you say I’m not good for you,” Apollo sang to a crowd that swayed along to “Ugotme.”
After the introductory trio of tunes, Apollo took a break from singing to chat with the audience.
“Y’all know I love Chicago, right?” Apollo said, who was met with booming screams from the crowd. “It’s a different energy tonight. It’s real different, I can tell. Y’all tryna dance tonight or what?”
Safe to say, a dance party was just what the crowd was looking for.
“Kickback” was next up in the setlist — a throwback to Apollo’s 2019 EP “Friends.”
Fuschia-colored spotlights and flashing stage accents perfectly set the mood. A shining disco ball overlooked the crowd, who jumped along to the song’s catchy bassline.
Throughout the show, the Mexican American singer’s jovial, charismatic energy was evident. He consistently entertained the crowd with impromptu dancing and brief interactions.
Mirroring his Chicago concert back in May, the artist sat alongside Barajas and Santana to perform “En El Olvido,” or “Into Oblivion,” an all-Spanish ballad. The screen behind the trio displayed an image of the Mexican flag as they began strumming the song’s melody.
“Y los Latinos donde ‘tan, man?” Apollo said to the crowd, which translates to “And where are the Latinos at?” The crowd replied with their loudest cheers yet. “We ‘bouta do some Mexican ass shit right now,” he added.
After performing “Dos Uno Nueve (219)” the artist switched tones with a performance of “Frío,” creating a much more intimate mood.
Compared to his last visit to Chicago, Apollo’s stage performance and vocal ability have seen great improvement, an impressive feat in just six months. His vocal riffs and smooth harmonies entranced the crowd, who sang along to every word.
Not once did the audience lose their energy, even as the clock approached midnight.
“Chicago, we have one more song,” Apollo said. “And I have a feeling y’all know what the fuck it is.” The Aragon was then painted green with light, perfectly matching the vibe of his next song “Evergreen.”
“One last time, I see / Ever, evergreen / Please don’t come home to me / Sweet evergreen,” Apollo sang as the crowd belted along. The ballad is his first song to chart, with over 105 million streams on Spotify. Much of its popularity can be attributed to its virality on TikTok, according to Variety.
After thanking the crowd and walking off stage, the Aragon rumbled with booming screams, pleading for an encore from the singer. This continued for a few minutes until Apollo finally returned onstage for one last song.
Before performing the last song of the night, Apollo thanked his band and crew and once again expressed his gratitude to the crowd for an unforgettable night.
Apollo made his way down a narrow corridor between two barricades dividing him from the crowd. He smiled as he interacted with fans while performing “Go Away,” the seventh track on “Ivory.”
“But if you had to go away again / I just don’t see you enough / I wish I saw you enough,” Apollo sang the crowd as they swelled around the artist in the pit.
Apollo’s latest album “Ivory” and the rest of his discography is available on all major streaming platforms.