Omar Apollo dazzled fans with a mesmerizing performance at The Fillmore - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
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Before his grand entrance, The Mexican-American singer Omar Apollo kept his fans in suspense. Chants of his name reverberated throughout The Fillmore Philly, and one fan exclaimed, “Omar, we are waiting for you, papi!” As the lights dimmed, anticipation peaked, and the crowd began to get hyped while quickly retrieving their phones to record.

Omar Apollo understood the importance of a grandiose entrance, and he did not disappoint. Surrounded by a dramatic glow of crimson light, he struck a dramatic pose like Freddie Mercury while drummer Jackson Shanks delivered a terrific drum solo. This electrifying intro set the tone for the evening and first song, “Ice Slippin,” the single from Apollo’s latest EP, Live For Me. The crowd sang along with him, a recurring theme throughout the night.

Apollo’s boundless energy had him traveling around the stage. At every corner, everyone in the audience received their fair share of attention. He paused only to use his mic stand while playing guitar. During his third song, “Talk,” he grabbed his white Fender Stratocaster and shredded, maintaining his infectious enthusiasm.

Omar Apollo | photo by Izzy Patrizio for WXPN

Following the immense success of his April 2022 release, Ivory, Apollo treated his fans to an expanded version of the album in August, featuring tracks like “Highlight,” “Archetype,” “Saving All My Love,” “Pretty Boy,” and “Endlessly.” The latter was showcased that night, as Apollo delved into the emotional depths of fading feelings with lyrics, “You ain’t say you loved me in so long / You don’t even try to call my phone / Did you even love me all along?”

In his music, Apollo candidly explores the highs and lows of his relationships. That night, the room was a safe space for couples of all orientations, fostering an atmosphere of love and acceptance. Looking into the audience, one could witness couples embracing and swaying to Apollo’s soulful R&B ballads. Acknowledging the crowd’s diversity, Apollo playfully exclaimed, “How many gays are in the crowd?” The room erupted in cheers, igniting a smile from Apollo, the perfect segue into the introspective track “3 Boys,” which explores themes of non-traditional love and commitment.

Omar remained authentic throughout his performance, acknowledging fans in the crowd whom he recognized and appreciating their loyalty over the years. “I recognize this bunch right here,” he said, “they are real fans.” He said he knew because they flicked him off as soon as he got on stage. Real ones keep people in check, a sign of genuine devotion. But they also admired Omar shouting “¡chulo!” and “¡buenote!” 

Apollo took a moment to pay homage to Mexican heritage, representing much of his fanbase. Sung amidst the backdrop of a Mexican flag, the enchanting “En El Olvido” is a song steeped in the soothing sounds of Ranchera—a genre popularized in Mexico by legends like Jose Alfredo Jimenez, Juan Gabriel, and Vicente Fernandez.

Omar Apollo | photo by Izzy Patrizio for WXPN

Transitioning from the traditional to more contemporary, what followed was another Spanish song, “Frío,” its punchy reggaeton bassline from bassist Trey Graves had the crowd dancing and swaying, riffing off Omar’s stage presence. Omar’s rhythmic grace and sensuality was captivating on their own, but the incorporation of smooth Michael Jackson-style spins proved Apollo was born to be on stage.

Philadelphia was treated to the live debut of Apollo’s new track, “Live for Me,” from the EP of the same name. The release of this EP came with its own special surprise for fans on the back cover of the vinyl. While it was censored in the social media announcement, it will be clearly visible for the 1,400 fortunate individuals who secured a copy within the first seven minutes of the EP’s release. Omar understands his fans and uses his artistry to deliver exactly what they want.

This sentiment held as he concluded his performance that night. Apollo treated the audience to some of his standout tracks from his backlog, including “Tamagotchi,” “Kamikaze,” and “Want U Around,” eliciting yet another round of passionate sing-alongs, bringing the evening full circle. But Omar wasn’t quite finished. Between his most-streamed song, “Evergreen,” and his closing song, a fan kindly begged Apollo to autograph their arm. Without hesitation, Apollo leaped off the stage into the photo pit, leaving his mark on the fan. As for the rest of us, a mark was left on our hearts. Shouts of “I love you!” filled the room as he concluded the show with the song “Go Away,” bidding a fond farewell to Philadelphia.

Setlist
Oct
14
Omar Apollo
The Fillmore Philadelphia
  • Intro
  • Ice Slippin
  • Killing Me
  • Talk
  • Ugotme
  • Useless
  • Endlessly
  • 3 Boys
  • En El Olvido
  • Frío
  • Petrified
  • Invincible
  • Live For Me
  • Tamagotchi
  • Kamikaze
  • Want U Around
  • Evergreen
  • Go Away
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