NUNN'S THEATER HABIT
Singer Raye and sis Absolutely presented an unforgettable concert at The Vic
Sat. October 21, 2023 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn
It was a family affair for singer Raye and sister Absolutely at The Vic Theatre in Chicago on October 10, 2023. For those that are not familiar, Rachel Keen is an English singer known as Raye who has collaborated with major players such as Beyonce and Rihanna.
The 25-year-old songwriter released her debut solo album My 21st Century Blues this year and it has already spawned a spinoff release My 21st Century Symphony (Live at the Royal Albert Hall) that just dropped.
Her sister Abby goes by the stage name Absolutely and is opening for Raye as part of a massive tour around the globe. The two have very different styles and trajectories for their careers, which makes them unique. Absolutely played several tracks from her upcoming Cerebrum record and “MIA” was a haunting standout before closing with the dramatic song “24 Hours.”
Raye then entered the stage with an eclectic band complete with a horn section and stylish matching suits. Both sisters preferred performing barefoot which grounded their voices in what was to come on that special night. Raye's love for musicals was shown through the curation of a set filled with thought-provoking insight and powerhouse vocals.
The vocals of Raye must be experienced live and the new Symphony record only gives a hint at what she has to offer. The range that this genre-busting artist displayed that night almost blew the roof off the building and deserved to be held in a stadium-size venue. The Vic Theatre was a downgrade from the previous spot as Raye's following is still growing in the United States. The clock is ticking on Raye's bombastic journey to stardom and some North Americans are late to the party apparently.
The audience was in for an October treat with a lesson in “Escapism” in the Windy City. Raye did not come to play and she whipped out some unbelievably high notes in a two-hour set.
What made Raye's headlining set memorable besides the vocal renderings was the onstage banter between songs with mental health awareness. Body dysmorphia, rape culture and the trappings of social media were all being served on the table that night.
She had single people raise their hands and confessed she hadn't been in a relationship in a long time.
There was lots of humor too as she stated that she “got the giggles” and forgot some of the words, but her longtime gay fans in the front row helped her out. It made her all the more endearing and when she sat down at the piano for a solo section people went wild for her charming personality.
Raye coached each section of the room to sing along to “Buss It Down.” While many artists follow a strict setlist, Raye danced to the beat of her own drum as she asked listeners what they would like to hear instead of being rigid with her art. This added an unpredictable component to the night's festivities and didn't leave time for ticket holders to be distracted by their phones.
The club hits came towards the end of the set and lightened the mood while spotlighting her various musical collaborations.
These sisters are doing it for themselves and many devoted fans as they continue on this unforgettable tour.
Raye's 21st Century Blues World Tour finishes stateside on November 7, 2023, in LA, then continues to Europe and Australia. Visit RayeOfficial.com to follow along and catch up!