Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Artist d4vd takes crowd “to the sun” in sold-out LA show

The singer-songwriter played his first show in LA as he began his “the root of it all” tour.

A photo of artist d4vd singing on stage. He is wearing sunglasses and a white shirt with fake blood splatters on it.

Breakout indie pop artist d4vd gathered a sold-out crowd at The Echo on Tuesday for his first headlining concert in Los Angeles. The show was his second of a four-city tour of the U.S., with the first stop in his hometown of Houston being his first live performance and concert ever. d4vd grew his audience by millions of listeners worldwide after gaining mainstream attention in July 2022 with his TikTok-trending single “Romantic Homicide,” which peaked at No. 33 on the Billboard 100. After his first string of shows were announced, many were excited and rushed to purchase tickets to see d4vd take his vocals and emotional lyrics to the live stage.

Singer gigi opened the show. As the crowd waited for d4vd’s entrance, a string of trending TikTok songs played, setting the stage for a setlist heavily influenced by social media. The stage was decorated with several frames of neon lights on either side, a several-foot-tall arrangement of red clothes hangers and a large “d4vd” poster as the backdrop.

D4vd began his set with “Dirty Secrets,” released in April 2022. Donning a white dress shirt with bloodstains, similar to an outfit from one of his recent music videos, he took to the stage with nonchalant confidence. He immediately brought high energy to the performance, jumping up and down on the stage to the steady strumming of the background guitarist.

A photo of d4vd dancing on stage. Fans in the audience take photos of him while  he dances.

D4vd’s path to making music is a unique one. He originally aspired to become a professional gamer and started making music simply to avoid copyright strikes on the accompanying tracks to his video montages of the game Fortnite. He began recording songs in his closet, producing all of his tracks on the platform Bandlab and uploading them to SoundCloud. D4vd, who is 17 years old, paid homage to his earliest fans in both the gaming and music communities he was a part of with his song “You and I,” mentioning to the crowd that it was his first original Fortnite montage song.

D4vd continued to amp up the crowd, bobbing his head and dancing around the stage with both the slightly shameless confidence of a teenager and the swagger of a seasoned performer. The light displays at The Echo elevated the show’s atmosphere, flashing in different patterns according to the upbeat rhythms of his first few songs.

The crowd was packed with fans around young adult age, and many brought their significant others to the show. D4vd switched up the mood of the show with a smooth performance of the love song “Here With Me,” while several fans swayed to the familiar, TikTok-famous melody.

A photo of D4vd sitting on a stool while performing. An orange light washes over the stage.

D4vd refers to his music as “genre dysphoria,” and the order of tracks reflected this exploration of various musical influences. Just after performing “Here With Me,” with its relaxed, bedroom-pop feel, he pivoted to “Take Me To The Sun,” a much more fast-paced and heavily electronic track.

He then returned to songs with a more melancholy feel, performing his latest single “Placebo Effect.” Despite his live vocals not being quite as rich as in the studio versions of his tracks, the storytelling and vulnerability of his lyrics were conveyed through the obvious passion in his performance. D4vd teased some unreleased songs, including one titled “The Bridge.” During this song, he clung onto the microphone, looking down at the stage while soft streams of light danced above his head.

After performing his unreleased track, d4vd asked the audience if he should drop the song or not. An overwhelming “yes” reverberated through the crowd, showing listeners’ anticipation for future d4vd projects to come.

A photo of d4vd passionately singing into the microphone.

D4vd ended the concert with “Romantic Homicide,” the song that catapulted him to breakthrough stardom and a label signing with Darkroom/Interscope Records. He delivered an emphatic performance, hitting a high note during the song and finishing the night with resounding praise from the audience.

The concert reflected d4vd’s rise through social media and understanding of content creation. D4vd’s photographer and videographer recorded the entire concert on vertical iPhone video format, making sure to capture crowd reactions throughout the show. Despite having performed live only once before, d4vd interacted with the audience very naturally, joking around and appearing to be genuinely enjoying himself on stage. His comfort in both the current digital and live music scenes set him apart as a rising star as he continues to explore styles of music and find “the root of it all,” whatever that may be.