Sam Smith shows off his musicality and personality at the ‘Gloria’ concert in Manila • l!fe • The Philippine Star

Just between his 2013 debut single Lay me down and last year Unholy, Sam Smith has compiled a long list of indelible chart-topping hits that many artists, including older stars, dream of (and envy). So why aren’t any of these songs featured on the most poignant, most powerful and powerful track of his current world tour? Glory? Because the man behind the artist has become an integral part of Sam Smith’s narrative.

The number appears at the end of the show and is built around Human naturesong Madonna which peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart in 1995. The original track, a powerful R&B tune with hip-hop influences, may not have been a hit, but it instantly secured its place in the musical canon of defiant self-expression and liberation from social taboos around sex, sexuality and gender norms upon its release in 1994 as part of album from the Queen of Pop. Bedtime Stories. It’s Madonna’s unapologetic response to the critics who attacked her in her previous sex-filled era. Erotica album, Sex photo book, Body of evidence erotic thriller, Girl show concert tour peep show and her infamous expletive-filled guest David Letterman Show. “Oh, I didn’t know I couldn’t talk about sex,” goes one unrepentant line in the song, followed immediately by: “I didn’t know I couldn’t speak my mind.”

Its prestige was further enhanced by the iconic music video, in which Madonna and her troupe of lithe and wiry dancers, dressed in shiny S&M-style latex catsuits with matching props (whips, chains, blindfolds, ropes, swings), perform a precisely choreographed dance . a routine filled with movements and images of struggle inside boxes and liberation from slavery.

“This show tonight is about freedom,” Sam said at the start of the show. Glory. This musical story will unfold smoothly over the next hour and a half with a three-part narrative arc, each properly titled and with short prose to flesh out the theme. As the story progresses, the music and mood of the elegant ballads develop Love segment to energetic mid-tempo jams and upbeat tunes beauty to a dark, moody, evocative, but ultimately ecstatic and inspiring climax, Sex.

Sam Smith brings his Glory tour to the Philippines.

This is as much the story of Sam’s career as it is their personal life. In 2019, they came out as non-binary and have since been on a public journey towards full self-expression and complete freedom in their art, fully embracing Human nature The mantra is “Express yourself, don’t suppress yourself.”

Sam actually wears it on his sleeve and the rest of his body in the series. The first time they take the stage, they are dressed in gold: boots, loose trousers and a corset straight from Marie Antoinette’s closet via Madonna. They open the next segment wearing a wedding veil from head to toe, topped with a gold crown on their head. Later they put on an amazing, super huge show. extravaganza of pink tulle, which will not be out of place Hollywood Barbiewardrobe and a sparkly silver dress, part disco diva dress, part wedding dress. ball gown For Human nature for the finale they literally strip down to a black leather thong with a pair of black stripes covering each nipple, revealing his full figure, flab and all.

Sam Smith’s wardrobe changes during their Manila concert

“I’m not sorry, it’s human nature,” Sam says in a slow-motion rendition of the song before launching into the verse: “You didn’t let me say the words I wanted to say, you didn’t want to see life through my eyes, you tried to push me back into your narrow room and silence me with bitterness and lies.

The diatribe is specifically addressed to critics and fans who have debated and continue to debate not only Smith’s sexuality, but also his body size. GloryBoth the tour and the self-titled 2023 album it’s promoting are Smith’s glorious celebration of their artistry and, perhaps more importantly, their individuality. And it is very exciting, even emotional, to witness and experience such an open and unabashed statement on the Philippine concert stage, which, despite its apparent popularity LGBT+ The culture in mainstream media remains quite prudish in terms of outward displays of weirdness.

The Sam Smith PH concert took place at the MOA Arena on Saturday, October 21st.

Of course, Smith wasn’t the first major artist, local or international, to bring that energy—the sexually charged choreography, the risque costumes, the same-sex kisses on stage, the devil-may-care attitude—to local audiences. concert stages. Madonna did it first, in 2015 with her Rebel Heart Tour, on the same site – MOA Arena. And this latest tour by the 31-year-old British artist owes a lot to the grand dame of pop. But Smith is the first gay star to do so. This is the highest glory of this wonderful show called Glory.

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