Khalid Delivers Tasty Set for Uber Eats at SXSW

16/03/2019 byGary Graff

After stylish meals curated earlier in the wek by Roy Choi and David Chang, Uber Eats’ South By Southwest installation in Austin’s glammed-up former La Zona Rosa turned itself over to chicken nuggets, fries and chocolate chip cookies from McDonald’s on Thursday night.

The style on this night, however, was provided by Khalid, an El Paso native reveling at being back in home state -- which he celebrated during the show’s second song, “Winter.”   

As long lines of hopeful fans waited outside the venue, Khalid -- porting a red-and-black soccer jersey and accompanied by a live guitarist and drummer and plenty of recorded tracks -- moved comfortably and confidently around the intimate stage, smiling non-stop, singing from his knees and even getting into the pit a couple of times during the show. Three dancers helped him out on a few songs, while a wealth of  images -- including real-time footage, music videos and graphics -- flashed by on a screen behind him.

Coming off a winning Saturday Night Live performance last weekend, Khalid previewed his upcoming sophomore album Free Spirit, due April 5, with the first concert performance of its first single, “Talk.” The rest of the show focused on his double-platinum 2017 debut American Teen, opening with “STEEN” and romping through “Winter” and the title track before he gentled things up with “Coaster,” “Another Sad Love Song” and “Saved.” “Young Dumb & Broke” played to a sea of cell phones and singalongs, while “Better,” which Khalid labeled a personal favorite, “Young Dumb & Broke,” “Love Lies” and “Location” (“the real song that changed my life – a lot”) received rapturous responses.  

“OTW” sent the crowd home on a high note, buoyed by the promise of more Khalid music coming in the not too distant future.

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