Alternative R&B artist NAO arrived in New York only a few hours before her eventual sold-out show at Terminal 5 on Saturday night. The British singer’s fans packed the venue from wall to wall well over an hour before her set, watching Xavier Omar take the stage as the opener.
At the opening of her set, NAO surprised fans by emerging in the middle of the Terminal 5 crowd, which I’ve yet to see any act do on any occasion. The crowd’s excitement was seen as they swarmed around her and pulled out their phones to capture the moment as she serenaded them in their own element. She then proceeded to the stage and broke out “Make It Out Alive,” sitting on the edge of the stage to provide yet anothered focused intimate moment for her fans.
You could tell that NAO felt comfortable from the jump with this crowd, who showered her with love after each song, illiciting NAO’s beaming smile that never seemed to leave her face throughout the set. She followed her rousing ovation after “Make It Out Alive” with the remainder of her hits as she danced around the stage as if it were her own home, twerking, dropping it low, and twirling around the stage to fans’ delight.
In yet another memorable moment, she paused her set to tell fans about her artistic inspirations — naming R&B legend D’Angelo as one of her greatest influences. She then sang his famous tune, “Brown Sugar,” from which her own song, “Inhale Exhale” was directly interpolated.
Check out the video below where she seamlessly transitions from “Brown Sugar” into “Inhale Exhale,” and view our photo highlights in the gallery.