The One Night Only series strives to bridge the gap between fans and their favorite artists. During a pre-show “cocktail hour,” special guests and friends enjoyed snacks and ice-cold Bud Lights before moving into the theatre for an intimate show. During the performance, guests could visit the brand’s interactive onsite footprint to celebrate their music friendships and more. The brand’s new initiative follows the success of their Dive Bar Tour last year. The tour featured Lady Gaga and was so successful that the pop-legend has teamed up with Bud Light for another leg this summer. Judging by the crowd’s response to the One Night Only show in Madison Square Garden this week, this series seems like another successful artistic endeavor for the brand.
The night opened with an electric performance from Post Malone. Before kicking off the show with his track, “Too Young,” the rapper paid homage to departed artists.
“We about to get real weird tonight but first we’ve got to pay our respects…A$AP Yams, David Bowie…I don’t want to die too young!”
During his set, Post Malone delivered banger after banger from “Go Flex” to “Déjà Vu.” In between and during songs, the rapper reached out to audience members in the front row, connecting with fans and amplifying the crowd’s energy. By the time the opening artist left the stage, the crowd was feeling pumped and ready for more music.
Cue X Ambassadors.
Dipped in deep blue lighting, a lone guitarist stepped on-stage. The crowd could barely contain their excitement as screams, whoops and hollers escaped in anticipation of the alt-rock band’s performance. As the guitarist launched into an epic solo, X Ambassadors arrived on-stage to dive straight into one of their biggest hits, “Jungle.”
The audience lost it. A wave of people leapt up from their seats to dance and sing along to the music. The band’s vocalist Sam Harris closed the opening song with a stellar performance on the saxophone. The crowd roared. The music cut. The vocalist spoke.
“New York City, how are you feeling? It feels so good to be home!”
The band’s set at Madison Square Garden demonstrated that a homecoming is no small feat. The energy on- and off-stage was intoxicating and the talent was remarkable.
Combining lush vocals with poignant lyrics, Sam commanded the performance. Drawing on a rougher sound for tracks such as “Love Songs Drugs Songs,” the vocalist easily transitioned to a more soulful tone for songs like “Unsteady” and “Gorgeous.” Across tracks, drummer Adam Levin and keyboardist Casey Harris performed with total verve. During the set, Casey delivered a stunning, dynamic solo that silenced the crowd, supporting the widespread comparisons with musical legends such as Stevie Wonder. Rolling out textured and masterful beats, Adam’s percussion synthesized the band’s performance. In a sentence, X Ambassadors delivered a transcendent concert in their home state.
A few moments prior to the finale, Sam called out to the crowd.
“I can’t tell you how special it has been for us to be here…it’s so inspiring what we can do when we all come together!”
The vocalist continued to speak in an effort to reach out to all those who considered themselves a member of a marginalized group of any kind – due to ethnicity, sexuality, gender identification, location, any or all of the above – to share a simple but powerful message.
“No matter who you are, you do not have to be afraid.”
In today’s world, this message is one of the most moving and memorable aspects of X Ambassadors’ performance. One cannot emphasize enough the importance of “safe spaces” for all those who are currently struggling and so, to create an environment of equality and acceptance for all those attending the show is striking.
Closing the show with their smash hit “Renegades,” the band left the crowd with an inspiring performance and message. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, or where you intend to go, X Ambassadors offers you an escape. All you have to do is listen.
Eager to learn more about X Ambassadors? You can read our interview with the band here.