Show Review: Sam Tsui at the Red Room

by Allie Kersten

Sam Tsui brought the house down on Wednesday, June 6, at the Red Room at Cafe 939. His show in Boston was the second-to-last of his East Coast tour. It was obvious that his voice was tired and worn out, but he put his all into the show and it was unforgettable. His charisma and passion were not only showing from his performance, but his band’s as well.

Sam began sharing his love of music through YouTube from his dorm room in 2011. That love only grew, and people noticed. It didn’t take long for Sam to develop a loyal and loving fan base of viewers that supported him in all he did. While his show at Red Room was small and intimate, you could tell how devoted every audience member was to him and his goals.

It was easy to tell that Sam has a fantastic connection with his band and he mentioned that the people he was touring with were some of his best friends. They all seemed to be having the time of their lives on stage, especially when they were doing choreography during a cover of “Uptown Funk.”

Sam’s drummer, Joel, wrote a little blurb about the tour, “being on the road with these guys in a dream. First of all, what’s better than being able to perform and make music with some of your closest friends? Sam is an absolute gem, and his dedication and professionalism is infectious. The response to the East Coast run has been amazing, and I’m really excited for everything to come this year.”

The tour follows the release of Sam’s album Trust. Most of his set was comprised of songs from the new release. The older songs he chose to perform were some of his top YouTube hits, like his mashup of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” and Sam Smith’s “I’m Not The Only One” with his husband Casey Breves.

He also performed Nelly’s “Just A Dream” that he recorded with the late Christina Grimmie. When Sam started to sing his solo version of the song, it was both touching and eerie at the same time. He set the environment for a brief moment of mourning and remembrance and it was absolutely breathtaking. His beautiful rendition of the song perfectly segued into “Carousel,”one of his originals from the new album. Sam perfectly balanced his performance with happiness and sadness, energy and serenity, and acoustic and synthetic sound.

He loves what he does and said a few words about that and the tour, “Doing what I get to do online is so amazing and gratifying. To get to connect with people around the world and then actually be in a physical venue with fans and with people who a lot of whom I have communicated with and formed relationships with online, is so special and magical. There have been a lot of familiar faces and long-time supporters. It has been so fun to do all new stuff and it feels so fresh.”

Sam finished his tour in New Jersey and is now working on a new music video that will be released next month. He is also a Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star finalist and will perform at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas this summer. If his new material is going to be anything like what he showcased at the Red Room, Sam is going to achieve so much more than he already has. Catch his next show wherever he goes and you will be more than astonished at Sam and his team’s expertise, kindness, and talent.