Young Reporter – One Night Only – Sara Sierra WHS

Record breaking, 26-year-old Rachel Keen – ‘Raye’ had recently done a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 2023 and due to popular demand decided to go back on stage for one night only to perform her debut album ‘My 21st Century Blues’. The show sold out within minutes of general on sale and certainly did not disappoint, with some incredible lights and vocals the performance was truly captivating. Spectators commented on her incredible stage presence and how she seemed comfortable in the spotlight and at ease with the crowd.

The show started around 8 with Raye’s younger sister ‘Absolutely’ starting it off strong performing some of her newest songs. Raye herself made her appearance at around 8:45 with the O2 erupting in cheers and screams in the way only the 20,000 fans of a globally recognised singer could do.

The singer donned a stunning long black dress and colourful earrings which she did unfortunately have to take off due to the jingle bell-esq noise they made as she moved. She first performed her more personal and heart wrenching songs first, explaining each one and dedicating her songs ‘Ice Cream Man’ and ‘Mary Jane’ to anyone who could relate and had gone through similar experiences to her. The crowd was super considerate and kind, creating a wonderful atmosphere. There were men and women of all ages and even young children and her explanations of her songs educated this audience whilst being gentle and considerate as she talked about pressing issues such as climate change, body dysmorphia, and addiction to name a few.

However halfway through the night, the singer ran offstage leaving the crowd wondering what had happened until she ecstatically returned in a shorter dress, resembling a disco ball, shimmering, and sparkling as she ran across the stage, truly lighting up the audience not just with its design, but with the singer’s infectious joy. Raye performed hits ‘Flip a Switch’, ‘Hard out Here’ and many more, finishing the album and then surprising us with an unreleased song called ‘Let There Be Light’.

Raye was accompanied by the incredible ‘Heritage Orchestra’ and ‘The Flames Collective’ and the live music and astonishing vocals really did touch each and every person in the crowd in a unique and special way and the singer’s chats to the audience in between songs really did create an intimate and personal connection between everyone, with Raye even learning the names of some people in the crowd and getting us to participate in singing!

I asked audience member Flor Paniagua what she thought of the show, and she commented: “It was incredible! The songs were catchy, beautiful, and the music really was amazing. I didn’t know the words to all of the songs, but it didn’t matter – the message sent and the joy created was all I needed to have a wonderful night! I’m extremely happy that I went and managed to grab a signed album before they sold out!”

The night was just a fraction of the insanely talented singer’s achievements and just a preview of what is to come. If you get the chance, I highly recommend going to see her. You won’t regret it!

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