Thousands of R&B lovers flocked to the Bay Area’s Concord Pavilion this past weekend to see H.E.R. shut down the stage at the sold-out two-day Lights On Festival. Performers also included Ari Lennox, Bryson Tiller, VanJess, Kiana Ledé, Arin Ray, Maxx Moore, Lucky Daye and more. But a few surprise guests came in the form of Chloe Bailey, Chris Brown and Saweetie.
Fans were misty-eyed and had goosebumps as H.E.R. performed her “Best Part” duet with Daniel Caesar. Still, fans lost their minds as H.E.R. brought on Brown for a perfectly blended rendition of “Come Through.”
The energy cranked up as H.E.R. flexed her penchant for rock and roll with Bailey in a rendition of Led Zeppelin’s song “Black Dog.” Chloe showed off her booming, powerhouse vocals and left the stage burning.
H.E.R. quickly went from guitar to drums to vocals, and then welcomed showstopper Saweetie to perform “Best Friend” for a nonstop, soulful experience. The audience sang along as she encouraged everyone to celebrate friendship and have their boss moment. H.E.R. played her new hit “Closer to Me” and invited Bay area-native Goapele and fans to harmonize with her.
The Bay Area was on fire with acts like Ari Lennox, Bryson Tiller, Lucky Daye, Ty Dolla $ign and the legendary Erykah Badu performing stadium hits. Each artist showed love and made the experience more like an arena-sized kickback than a concert. The Lights On’s slogan is “R&B is not dead,” and since the debut festival in 2019, H.E.R. has been proving just that. The first year, H.E.R. headlined and curated the one-day extravaganza with Jhené Aiko and Ari Lennox. She sold out close to 13,000 seats at the Concord Pavilion amphitheater, so continuing the legacy in 2021 only made sense after the pandemic restrictions were lifted.
Lights On gives music lovers a buffet of all genres; it’s perfect for fans of all ages and interests. From rock to R&B to rap and vibe-setting ballads, it’s got it all. The night was full of continual bops, like larger-than-life renditions of H.E.R.’s “We Going Crazy” and “B.S.” The whole weekend was a vibe, from girl-powered harmonies by VanJess to soulful music by Foushee’, Joyce Wrice, Tiana Major9 and more. In other words, the ladies did not come to play.
STILL not over last night! 😩
📸: Kevin Allen pic.twitter.com/tTTO3l5l2c
— Lights On Festival (@LightsOnFest) September 20, 2021
The must-see, consistently sold-out show is bicoastal and lasts all day.
“R&B is not dead — that’s the slogan, that’s the theme,” H.E.R. shared. “Rhythm and blues is the foundation of everything. It’s raw, authentic, organic — just truth and feeling, straight feeling. It makes you want to fall in love. It tells stories and it helps you through heartbreak. It’s literally the soundtrack of our lives. There’s so many different elements of R&B that live in other music, like country and pop and so many other genres. It’s in everything. And people show up for R&B.”
Be a part of the party and purchase tickets for October’s Lights On show here.