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Fred Again.. lights up Forest Hills Stadium in the rain

Musical artist Fred Again.. performing his hit song at Forest Hills Stadium, ‘Delilah’ (pull me out of this).” Fred Again.. is currently touring all across the United States. HIMMA SHARMA/THE STATESMAN

London-based producer, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and DJ Fred Gibson — known professionally as Fred Again.. — kicked off the U.S. leg of his European tour with a three-day concert set at the Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, N.Y. beginning on Oct. 12. I attended his show on Oct. 14, and the concert drew in an overwhelming amount of people despite the rainy weather. 

Being the youngest recipient of the Producer of the Year award at the Brit Awards, Fred Again.. has accumulated a remarkable 15 billion streams across all streaming platforms and since achieved seven No. 1 hits in the U.K.

His collaborations include renowned artists such as Travis Scott, Ed Sheeran, Skrillex, Young Thug, J Balvin and Burna Boy. He also played a significant role in co-writing George Ezra’s chart-topping hit “Shotgun,” which maintained a Top 3 chart position on the U.K. Singles Chart for 12 consecutive weeks.

Fred Again..’s surge in popularity was triggered by the release of “Marea (we’ve lost dancing),” a track that samples parts of speech by The Blessed Madonna, an American DJ. Through the lyrics, the song explores the significance of dancing and listening to music during the COVID-19 pandemic, all while carrying messages about the importance of friendship. This song emphasizes grief, evokes memories of what once was and optimistically gazes toward the future. It speaks about the importance of these universal themes that resonated with fans due to their shared experiences during the pandemic.

In mid-June, Fred Again.. announced his tour, which initially featured international destinations such as London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris. It was only a day later that he surprised fans by extending the tour to the U.S., where he planned an impressive series of 11 shows, starting with three days in New York and ending with an eight-show residency in Los Angeles.

My experience at the concert was unforgettable. Joy Anonymous took the stage as the opener at 6:30 p.m., captivating the crowd for an hour and a half before Fred Again.. came on. Joy Anonymous created anticipation by playing one of his hit songs, “JOY (God Only Knows).” I had never listened to his music before the concert, but I was left with an overwhelming feeling of happiness after his set.

As Fred Again.. positioned himself at a keyboard with his right-hand man Tony Friend by his side to handle mixing duties, silence fell over the audience as the soft opening notes of the first song began. The crowd was filled with fans holding up their phones to capture the moment, with only a few returning their devices to the safety of their cargo pant pockets or fanny packs. I was astonished by the concert-goers’ abilities to maintain their attention while remaining exceptionally quiet, even with the room bustling as we eagerly awaited Fred Again.. to share his musical talents.

The show reached its peak when Fred Again.. effortlessly combined his sample-rich club music with moments of genuine vulnerability and poignant emotional depth, showcasing his undeniable talent. From chart-toppers like “Delilah (pull me out of this)” to “adore u,” Fred Again.. had the audience grooving and enthusiastically rocking our heads while relishing every moment of the performance.

The rain played a pivotal role in shaping the ambiance of the show. I could see the raindrops gracefully bouncing off the ground as the crowd joyfully leaped and danced to Fred Again..’s set, creating a magical energy. Even Fred Again.. seemed reluctant to conclude his set, playfully teasing his fans by saying his set was over, only to continue performing. Despite the chilly weather and constant rain, Fred Again..’s performance was nothing short of euphoric.

With more than half of his U.S. performances still ahead, Fred Again.. kicked off his tour with a powerful beginning. Following his last performance in Queens, N.Y. on Oct. 14, Fred Again.. took to his Instagram story to say, “New York holyGODwhat. That was ridiculous. Rain shows foreverrrrrrrrrrrrr.” 

Overall, Fred Again..’s show stood out to me as one of the most exceptional performances available. He not only showcased his musical prowess on the keyboard but also lent his voice to the mixes, skillfully DJing his set while the crowd swayed with joyous expressions. This unforgettable experience left an indelible mark on the entire audience, especially myself.

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