Thanksgiving is such a wondrous time of year. Family, friends, no homework, and some of the best concerts of the season.
The morning of Thanksgiving Eve 2016, Lillian and I boarded the Russ Mobile (my family car) and zoomed to Orlando in two hours to see the man himself, Russ Diemon. We were so determined to be as close to the stage as we could possibly be, so we purchased an insane amount of Chik-fil-a (large shakes included) and got to The Plaza Live at 3:00. 3:00, as in approximately six hours before Russ took the stage. We were 9th and 10th in line, and ready to face hours of anticipation and a desperate attempt to conserve phone batteries.
Lilly finally awoke once rumors spread that the doors would soon open. We ran (more of a fast walk actually) to the front and center of the venue and BOY did we get lucky oh my lord. I cannot lie, we got the best spots in the house.
With no opening act, following Russ’ frequent solo style, the crowd was that much more eager for him to hit the stage. “Fuck it, he did it himself!”
The energy in that place was absolutely insane. Russ’ spirit is so contagious and was shared between every person in the venue the moment he stepped on stage. I personally loved the flow of the show and the order in which he performed a blend of songs; slow, hyped, classics, and new releases. He spoke frequently about topics like confidence, positivity, and also included personal stories that inspired a number of songs.
His explanation of being a “monster of self belief” was something that really resonated with me. His persistence in the game is so inspiring and respectable. In my opinion, that defines an artist so much. Their sheer willingness to keep grinding whether their shows have five fans or 5,000.
It was around this moment where I felt as though I was drifting in a raft in the middle of the ocean, staring at the stars with zero cares. (When in reality, I had a pregnant woman pushing me against a barricade, but I barely noticed. That’s what this man’s voice can do to you)
Closing the show with the widely popular “What They Want” was an obvious choice, and it really brought the crowd together and the feeling in that room was pure bliss.
When he took his hair down …. yo ….. the place went wild.
Moral of the story, see Russ when he comes to a city near you. An amazing concert showcasing an amazing, and extensive, catalog of consistent tracks.
Russ’ stamina throughout the show was extremely impressive, considering this was the 2nd to last show of the nationwide tour. The tour was 33 shows in total, but Russ was just has dedicated performing “What They Want” in Ft. Lauderdale as he was performing “Yung God” in Vancouver more than a month earlier.
He often paused throughout the show, cutting the track and listening to the crowd sing and rap every word to his songs. There was almost a sense of community within the venue and Russ’ gratefulness and astonishment was clear, no matter how many times he had experienced that before.
Russ posted this recap video in his Instagram the morning after the show, continuing a pattern he has followed throughout the entire tour.
Thank you Russ, for gracing us with an unforgettable show and connecting with the crowd on such an intimate level. We will meet again.
ps: do your self a favor and watch the video below as well