I had the pleasure to see Mahalia live on May 24th in Tramshed, Cardiff.
As I always do, I tried to pay close attention to my surroundings, anticipating the vibes of the performance and preparing mentally for what was about to come. Tramshed, a west Cardiff renovated tram depot, is a small venue with a maximum capacity of 1000 people. In all honesty, I do not think the venue fitted the artist as it felt like a run-down club, whereas Mahalia has that cheeky girl boss energy that would fit more a flowery, fluorescent staging. Fortunately – she managed to fill the space with her personality well enough.
It was definitely worth waiting through the supporting act, Ruti. A rising British Jamaican singer-songwriter, while small on stage, offered bizarre tones of guitar and humming. However, when it comes to Mahalia herself, if you are looking for the stage energy of Doja Cat and musical ambiance of Kehlani – look no further.
Mahalia opened the act with Sober, dancing and playing with the audience while performing her hit songs such as In The Club and I Wish I Missed My Ex – you could really feel that she enjoyed her time in Cardiff. As she said herself – every artist will tell you that ‘this is the best concert of the tour’ – which is not possible. She intertwined songs with jokes about writing music, about her exes and their new partners (which only shows that she can laugh at herself in this most endearing way), as well as delivering short speeches on evergreen matters such as womanhood and confidence. I strongly believe that everyone felt accepted during her amazing vocal performance, which she concluded by taking pictures with everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – in the front rows of the show. It is truly precious to see an artist interact with fans without fear and with open arms and heart. What an icon.