From designing cover art for other bands to directing music videos, SSION stepped into his own spotlight Wednesday night at Metro Chicago to perform songs off of his record, “O.” When Andrea and I first arrived at the venue, the line was backed up at the front door. Fans shivered and crossed there arms trying to hold in any heat their bodies had left. There was an eager excitement to get inside, not only to get warm but also to not miss any of SSION’s performance.
After checking in, we twisted and turned up the staircases at Metro until we reached the stage level. We took our place in front of the barricades and settled in for what was to be a groovy night. The stage lights dimmed and a little after 9:00pm SSION graced the stage.
Following his opening track, the queercore inspired artist, dressed head to toe in vibrant colors of red, pink, and blue told the crowd that they were making him feel like he was at his mom’s high school reunion with their sleepy Wednesday night vibes. A few songs into his set, his music brought the crowd’s energy level up. Andrea and I shot photograph after photograph trying to capture his best dance moves because they were not something to miss. He glided and strutted across the stage oozing confidence and passion. His theatrical performance encouraged the audience to get their groove on all the way up into the balcony. As we turned around, the entire crowd was belting every lyric perfectly.
His dreamy punk rock vibes shined through his vocals while encapsulating a club vibe through the heavy beats and instrumental background sounds. As his curly locks bounced around the stage, he began to sing “Tell Me About It.” He sang hushed and still, drawing the crowd in. Once he knew he had their attention, he showed them what he was capable of burst into a dynamic and lively performance of “Luvvbazaar.” Although “Luvabzaar” is not from his most recent album “O” it is a fan favorite. This 13 track album is his first official full-length in seven years. SSION’s DIY style dazzles in this album and highlights how multi-talented he truly is.
To get photos of the whole crowd and SSION we made our way to the balcony. We quickly realized how packed the crowd had gotten since we had originally made our way to the front of the showroom. From our bird’s eye view, we could see that there was not a single foot standing still. Everyone was bumping and grinding and absorbing SSION’s energy.
In his recent New York Times interview, SSION mentioned that he finally feels free to be himself. He was able to establish the same welcoming environment for the crowd, which included other LGBTQ+ individuals.
As the opener for Jake Shears, SSION is able to hype the crowd up even on a cold and windy Chicago Wednesday night. He now heads to the West Coast performing in cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles where his electric vibes will pulse through the audiences veins and leave them wanting more.
Written by: Colleen Kennedy
Photos by: Colleen Kennedy and Andrea Carrillo