I first saw Omar Apollo perform in November of 2017. It was at an annual pre-Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival event called “Weird N Awful.” As a non-headlining artist, I was not really familiar with Apollo’s music, but seeing him live stuck with me. I started following his journey and continued to listen to his music.
Fast forward to the present and it seems as if Omar Apollo is taking over the world. Within two years he is no longer on a pre-Camp Flog Gnaw lineup. Instead, he is on this year’s actual Camp Flog Gnaw lineup. With over 2 million listeners on Spotify alone, Apollo has already established a solid fanbase and has been traveling and performing across the world.
I haven’t seen him perform since that time in 2017, so we took the chance to see how he has evolved as a live performer on the second part of his two-night takeover at The Fonda in Los Angeles. Right off the bat, his energy was absolutely incredible. He spun, twirled, and glided across the stage with ease like he’s been doing this for decades. I don’t remember any of that when I saw him in 2017 and it is insane to see how much growth he has made in such a short amount of time.
As a treat for his second L.A. audience in two days, Apollo brought out Dominic Fike for the collaboration single “Hit Me Up” with Kenny Beats, which had just recently came out the day prior. The crowd was ecstatic and screamed out the lyrics to the song as if it had been out for years. Apollo and Fike definitely share a similar fanbase, so it’s fun to see them collaborate as contemporaries of one another.
With a setlist containing a mix of dancey songs like “Kickback” and “So Good,” to mellow songs like “U Got Me” and “Brakelights”, it was truly an all-around performance. Apollo also yelled, “y’all like Freddie Mercury” before giving us his take on legendary rock band Queen’s “Cool Cat”. I was absolutely floored by his vocal ability on that song and was unaware of his incredible singing ability. I can’t stress this enough. If this is the amount of growth he has made in just two years then his future is looking very bright!
Omar Apollo is one of the most exciting acts in music right now and he is also making noise with his style, most recently gaining recognition as part of Opening Ceremony’s The Familia. He has been very active too, with two new songs in the past two weeks.
(Photos: Matt Vinas)