By Tabby Hardman
It was Tuesday night at the Rock and Roll Hotel in northeast D.C.—the night Sam Sparro rocked my world.
Having been a fan of the electro-funk/soul musician since 2008 when his award-winning single, “Black and Gold,” was released—I could not believe I was about to be in the same venue as my all-time favorite artist.
Hesitantly walking into the music club with my best friend Victoria (also a Sam Sparro fan), we found ourselves in a dark, wood room with small, neon-lit stage. There were mirrors lining the walls and people scattered around anxiously waiting.
After 20 minutes of chit-chat with Victoria and some serious people watching, the opening act, Big Bright, walked on stage. As many typically assume with opening acts, I was anticipating a disaster act—however, I was pleasantly surprised by the upbeat, dance music they played and how they really hyped the crowd up for Sam’s pending performance.
Gyrating around and grooving to their beats I yearned to see the main show—Sam.
Once the opening act finished up and said their thank you’s, I realized it was show time. About 15 minutes after the first act left, Sam’s crew started setting up.
And 15 minutes after that—Sam entered the building.
Strutting on stage like the Australian stallion he is, I just about dropped to the floor. After four years of undying love and support for his music, the man himself was before me.
Clad in slacks, a tucked in t-shirt, form-fitting beige blazer, and sporting a Freddie Mercury-inspired mustache and haircut—he looked hot.
He started with some of his new tunes from his yet-to-be-released album “Return to Paradise.” Sam got the crowd rocking with the funky “Shallow End,” the sultry, sexy “Let the Love In,” and the upbeat “Happiness.”
Sam then transitioned into a couple oldies, of which he blended into one—“Sick” and “Pocket” from his first self-titled album which was released in 2008.
By this point the show was rolling. There was sweat dripping, feet jumping, and arms flailing.
The previously empty dance floor was a sea of faces awestruck by Sam’s unbelievable stage presence. His velvety voice resonated throughout the whole room and sounded so perfect you could have thought he was playing a backtrack and mouthing the words.
Sam continued to showcase some of his newer songs like the relatable “Wish I Never Met You” and then it happened. The moment that changed my life…
Switching vibes into his most famous tune “Black and Gold,” the song that drew me to him to begin with—the crowd went insane. It became a sing-a-long between Sam and everyone in the audience who knew all the lyrics, me included.
In that moment of pure bliss I reached my hand up along with the other six people around me in the hopes he may just grab my right hand—and he grabbed it.
I was shocked. A tear filled my eye and I realized how lucky I was to be in that room, with all those people, sharing a love for someone who really understands what music is.
Sam closed the show with a combination of an oldie “21st Century Life,” a funky and soulful jam, and then blended that into “Gypsy Woman” (She’s Homeless), a cover he did of the song originally by Crystal Waters which is an old ‘house’ tune.
Throwing himself into the audience as the grand finale, Sam showed his fans his appreciation for their love and support by crowd surfing.
It was magical.
I couldn’t have pictured a better show, between the intimacy of the venue, the band, the back-up singers, the crowd, and of course—Sam Sparro himself.
And, you know, he did hold my hand. Briefly.
All I can say is, Sam, when will you be back?