Jhené Aiko Draws Fans Into Musical Meditation

Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan, Sept. 25

Photo by Brenton Ho

Jhené Aiko’s Las Vegas headlining debut flowed like an intimate Storytellers-esque jam session. Backed by a four-piece band, the soulful 26-year-old singer presented her songs, or “stories,” as she referred to them, with ache in her voice. She covered Kendrick Lamar’s verse on their collaboration “Stay Ready (What a Life),” spitting his lyrics with a cadence reminiscent of spoken word. “Anybody got a lighter?” she asked before “Space Jam,” “We’re about to do this one real acoustic-like.” Her 6-year-old daughter Namiko stood at the side of the stage, smiling and recording the performance. Aiko clutched her midsection as if she was in true physical pain, lamenting love gone wrong on “Comfort Inn Ending (Freestyle).” She saved “The Worst” for last, drifting offstage to share the mic with her fans and embrace them as she passed. ★★★✩✩

Set List

To Love & Die
Bed Peace
Stay Ready (What a Life)
Space Jam
Lyin King
Comfort Inn Ending (Freestyle)
3:16 AM
Spotless Mind
From Time
The Worst

Photos by Brenton Ho

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