Omar Apollo Performs at The New Parish

Nathalia Moran, Staff Reporter

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Chicano indie star Omar Apollo enchanted the Bay Area audience at one of two sold-out shows in Oakland on Sunday, Nov. 3.

Apollo featured his newest single, “Frìo” in the “Speed of Sound” tour set list, which is his first song entirely in Spanish.

“Sing along. This is a safe space,” said Apollo to the crowd. The language barrier didn’t stop everyone from singing, swaying and jumping along with Omar’s electrifying vocal performance.

My third time attending one of his shows feels no different than going for the first time.

One would think that hearing the same songs three times gets old, but with Apollo’s vocal versatility and his music’s dance ability, the show fails to bore.

Before his performance, Apollo had two openers lined up. The first, a band called Silver Sphere, exuded liveliness and indie-pop sound got the crowd moving. Dijon, the second opener, followed with emotional and raspy vocals.

Openers performed from 9 p.m. to 10:50 p.m. leaving the crowd antsy. The concert was timed to end around 11:30 p.m., causing many people to worry about the length of Apollo’s set.

Apollo would go on until just past midnight.

He began with “Ashamed,” the first song from his newest EP “Friends,” released April of this year.

The song demonstrates Apollo’s range, easily switching from high to deep pitches, enhanced by the funky beat created by the electric guitar (Oscar Emilio), bass (Manny Barajas) and drums (Joey Medrano).

Later, he announced that members of his family were in attendance, causing everyone to wave towards them, creating a heartwarming and loving environment.

Apollo performed other popular hits from his old EP, which included love songs like “Ugotme” and “Erase,” as well as a cover of Queen’s “Cool Cat.”

The lack of set design did not subtract from the quality of expressiveness in Apollo’s vocals and dance moves.

But even more wonderful were the moments where the dancing and screaming became suspended. During the intimacy of slower songs like “There For Me (Interlude)” and “Trouble.”

But Apollo wouldn’t end his show on a gloomy note.

The band returned for an encore of two songs, “So Good” and “Hijo De Su Madre.”

Everyone either got stepped on or elbowed in some way. Still, with such a connection and reciprocity between artist and audience, no one complained.

Apollo is rapidly making his way up in the music scene, blending his creative agency with cultural identity and inclusivity.

Go see a show if at all possible. Apollo sang it best: “You ain’t never seen a brown boy like this.”

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