On Saturday evening, Melbourne-based genre-bending progressive R&B group Hiatus Kaiyote landed at Franklin Music Hall in Philadelphia with a bang. Fresh off the release of their sophomore release on Brainfeeder Love Heart Cheat Code, the band took to the stage after an opening instrumental set by Clever Austin (aka Perrin Moss, who also is the drummer in the band). Like the title of one of their best songs suggests, from the first note Hiatus Kaiyote vocalist Nai Palm hit, everything was beautiful.

The evening began with “Dreamboat,” that smoothly blended into “We Go Gentle,” a funky tune that carried us into what was the sweetest moment of the evening. Nai Palm noticed a child in the crowd with her mother who wanted to meet them; Philly’s own DJ Lil Dave, who was in attendance, said he felt his “heart melt” seeing it. Hiatus Kaiyote continued their set effortlessly blending new singles like “Love Heart Cheat Code” with favorites like “Sip Into Something Soft.” The packed house sang along with Nai’s sultry vocals, delightfully noticed by the singer, who mentioned Philadelphia holds a special place in the band’s heart for always showing love.

Hiatus Kaiyote | photo by Megan Matuzak for WXPN

The feeling was only accentuated when the group transitioned into their biggest single, “Red Room” from the Grammy-nominated album Mood Variant. Singing “and I don’t want to be anywhere but here,” the mood in the building was one of harmony, as Hiatus Kaiyote brought us to a “Cinnamon Temple” to worship, before “Building a Ladder” to the climax of the show.

The group ended the evening with one of their singles off the new album, “Make Friends,” whose lyrics start “you don’t make friends, you recognize them,” which I couldn’t find more true. This was the second time I was able to see Hiatus Kaiyote live. It will not be the last. If you haven’t before, make next time your first, because they are a band who should not be missed live.