On a chilly Thursday night, Lewis Capaldi took the stage at the sold out CalCoast Credit Union Open Air Theatre in San Diego, treating the audience to an unforgettable concert experience. Part musical performance and part comedic monologue, Capaldi had fans laughing, crying, and cheering throughout the show.
The evening began with the funky musical stylings of Medium Build, led by frontman Nick Carpenter from Anchorage, Alaska. He introduced his bandmates as “Paul” and “Steve” who were sporting a gold robe, board shorts, and neon orange painted toenails – the beachy vibes and charisma were not in short supply. The mustachioed trio delivered a playful and eclectic blend of indie, R&B, and 80s pop. Despite starting their set with a half-filled amphitheater, Medium Build’s infectious performance soon had the stands filled to capacity, their unique style and likable energy setting the tone for a relaxed yet energetic night ahead. As the anticipation grew, it was time for Lewis Capaldi to grace the stage.
Capaldi stumbled into fame rather unexpectedly; after independently releasing his single “Bruises” in 2017, the song quickly reached nearly 28 million plays on Spotify worldwide, making him the fastest ever unsigned artist to reach 25 million plays on the platform. The song was later released as a single and part of his debut album Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (2019), which also contained breakout song “Someone You Loved” that currently has over 2.7 billion streams on Spotify.
He presented a captivating blend of music and comedy throughout the show. Not one to mince words, he playfully told everyone to “shut up” when they cheered before his song was finished, and delved into thought-provoking questions, such as “Why do Americans like to ‘woo’ so much?” and “Why are fraternities important to college students?” His witty banter and candid observations provided a layer of entertainment while balancing out the melancholy mood of his ballads. Comparing the size of the venue to his UK and European tours where he sells out arenas, Capaldi quipped that his accountant had advised against doing a US tour. But he doesn’t do it for the money – “just the fame and the ladies!” he joked.
Nevertheless, the enthusiasm of the crowd was unwavering. One poignant moment occurred when Capaldi noticed a sign held by a fan near the front row, celebrating a friend who had recently “earned her wings.” He asked everyone to have a moment of light for Kenzie; everyone cheered and lifted their cell phone lights in solidarity, creating a heartfelt display of unity.
Perhaps the evening’s most memorable moment occurred when Lewis asked the audience if anyone had seen the music video for his latest single, “Wish You The Best.” The response was divided with roughly half of the attendees raising their hands. Lewis proceeded to show it on a screen while performing the song live. Notably, this music video has sparked a TikTok trend where parents capture their children’s tearful reactions to it and tag Capaldi in their posts. As the video played, the amphitheater erupted with gasps and cries – let’s just say the story has a few shocking pivotal plot points – as Lewis chuckled at their astonishment.
In a lighthearted interlude, he took a moment to sign a Lewis Capaldi Funko Pop figurine that was tossed onto the stage. The gesture added a touch of fan interaction and showcased his famously down-to-earth nature.
Capaldi played a mix of familiar songs from his first album including “Before You Go” and “Forever,” as well as newly released material expected to be included on his second studio album Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent, which is set to release on May 19th. As the concert reached its climax, Lewis returned for an encore, sprinting back and forth on stage before launching into two final songs. The crowd erupted with cheers as he performed “How I’m Feeling Now,” and finally rounded off his 13-song setlist with his biggest hit, “Someone You Loved,” leaving the audience dazzled by his raw emotion and powerful vocals.
Lewis Capaldi’s performance was enjoyable and soul-stirring. With his lighthearted stage presence, relatable humor, and passionate performances, Lewis left an indelible mark on the audience, ensuring that the night would be remembered long after the final notes faded away.
Intro: Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent
Lost on You
Before You Go
Wish You the Best
Hold Me While You Wait
How I’m Feeling Now
Someone You Loved
You can watch Lewis Capaldi’s “Wish You The Best” music video below. His new album Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent drops on May 19th.