Black Pumas dazzled Deep Ellum at The Factory on Friday night. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Black Pumas are “more than a fantasy,” they’re the real deal.
The show on Friday in Dallas at The Factory in Deep Ellum featured an opening set by Danielle Ponder, and echoed the soulfully psychedelic, haunting and dynamic sound of the Black Pumas’ sophomore album, Chronicles of a Diamond.
“Whenever we take the stage it’s the classic us-against-the-world kind of thing, and in reaching for my greatest strengths I ended up discovering new ones,” Black Pumas singer-songwriter Eric Burton said on the band’s Bandcamp page. “With this album [Chronicles] I felt very free in my vocal performance, which has a lot to do with Adrian hearing something in my voice and helping me to explore that.” Photo: Jessica Waffles
The crowd in Dallas was eager to get a taste of the new album live at The Factory in Deep Ellum. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Known for their 7-time Grammy-nominated debut album released in 2019, the second record expands their musical palette.
Chronicles incorporates a diverse range of genres, including soul, symphonic pop, jazz-funk, and psychedelia. The band aimed to create a more extravagant and creatively composed album compared to their debut.
The new album was crafted not only in Austin but also in cities like Amsterdam, Mexico City, and San Francisco. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Adrian Quesada, guitarist and producer of Black Pumas, on stage at The Factory in Deep Ellum. Photo: Jessica Waffles
During the concert, a larger-than-life stage set featured the album artwork of Chronicles, with dazzling color-changing teeth and eyes, enhancing the performances of each song with thematic lighting.
Make no mistake, Black Pumas are at the top of their game.
Eric Burton describes Black Pumas live shows as a “classic us-against-the-world” experience, capturing a dynamic and engaging energy on stage. Photo: Jessica Waffles
The full light show experience with Black Pumas was uniquely electrified and choreographed. Photo: Jessica Waffles
It’s obvious that the band hasn’t been the type to simply lean on their past success, but push forward with gusto into their creative freedom and produce more magic for the road ahead.
“More than anything I wanted to make something we’d be thrilled to play live 200 days a year,” said lead singer Eric Burton, on the band’s Bandcamp page. “I wanted to be able to laugh, cry, bob my head, do the thing: it was all very much a selfish endeavor.”
Terin Ector (left) and Brendan Bond (right) on stage as part of Black Pumas. Photo: Jessica Waffles
In the Chronicles of a Diamond opening track, “More Than a Love Song,” Burton adds a spellbinding bit of spoken word, showcasing his versatile approach to vocal expression. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Like Black Pumas, Chronicles of a Diamond once again harnesses the lightning-in-a-bottle chemistry between Burton, a self-taught musician who got his start busking on beaches and subway platforms in his native Los Angeles, and Adrian Quesada, (a Grammy Award winner whose background includes playing in Latin-funk orchestra Grupo Fantasma and accompanying legendary artists like Prince.
Although Black Pumas made much of the album at Quesada’s own Electric Deluxe Recorders in Austin, Chronicles also came to life in such far-flung cities as Amsterdam, Mexico City and San Francisco, with their longtime band joining in to shape the album’s explosive yet artfully crafted sound.
Quesada had a memorable solo trip to Mexico City during the final stages of album production, marking a full-circle moment: “That same summer when I first started working with Eric, it was in Mexico City that I got inspired by the whole jungle-cats motif—which is how we came up with the name Black Pumas,” he said on the band’s Bandcamp page. Photo: Jessica Waffles
For Chronicles of a Diamond, Burton describes the album-making process as a metamorphosis, representing a beautiful and challenging evolution in his approach to music. Photo: Jessica Waffles
“On the first record my goal was to make something that felt modern but without using any loops or programming or editing of any kind—everything was completely live,” said Quesada, on the Bandcamp page. “With this record, we threw out all those rules and created something that’s very much a studio album but also captures that crazy energy that happens in the live show.”
Lauren Cervantes (left) and Angela Miller (right) provided the perfect backup vocals as part of Black Pumas. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Burton’s vocal approach was informed by the band’s live performances, leading to a more free-spirited and exploratory vocal performance on “Chronicles of a Diamond.” Photo: Jessica Waffles
(left to right) Lauren Cervantes, Angela Miller, JaRon Marshall, Eric Burton. Photo: Jessica Waffles
At The Factory in Deep Ellum, the setlist kicked off with “Fire” from their debut album, followed by certified banger “Gemini Sun” from Chronicles.
A playful mix of old and new, the setlist tied together everything Black Pumas has been working on these past several years.
Eric Burton takes a moment on stage to sit with the Dallas crowd. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Brendan Bond on bass with Black Pumas. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Burton hopped on the keyboard for the title track “Chronicles of a Diamond,” right before closing the set with “Colors” – their decidedly most famous song.
The 2-song encore included “Hello” and a lightshow-to-end-all-lightshows display with “Rock and Roll” (which also closes out the Chronicles studio album).
Eric Burton’s stage presence is lively and full of joy. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Black Pumas exceeded expectations at their show in Dallas. Photo: Jessica Waffles
In short, if you get a chance to see Black Pumas right now in their career, you better do it. From their imaginative music production to their spirited stage presence and genuine positive nature, Black Pumas encapsulate what it means to create music with conviction.
Check out their tour schedule on their website and stream Chronicles of a Diamond.
Danielle Ponder opened the show, citing how fortunate she was to open for a band she’s been a huge fan of for years. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Danielle Ponder’s latest release Carry Me Higher released just last month on November 17. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Danielle Ponder has gained recognition for her work in the realms of soul, R&B, and gospel. delivering dynamic live shows and socially conscious lyrics. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Earlier this year, Danielle Ponder dropped into the KXT Studio to perform songs from her album, Some Of Us Are Brave. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Danielle Ponder’s music often addresses social justice issues, reflecting her background as a former public defender. Her lyrics touch on topics such as systemic injustice, inequality, and the human experience. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Jessica Waffles is a freelance photographer/videographer and regular contributor to KXT.
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