Frank Ocean stunned a crowd in New York City on Monday night, crooning his way through a one-hour set at The Fader and Vitamin Water's final #Uncapped concert of the year. Ocean -- who preceded Bon Iver -- sounds the same live as he does in the studio, but the emotional impact of his performance is amplified by his presence.
The young singer doesn't dance. In fact, he barely speaks to the crowd, only noting a few changes to the show (Ocean pretended he wasn't using a setlist, though one was seen at the sound booth) and warning the audience that a song would be his last. But dancing and idle conversation are not what Frank Ocean fans are looking for.
They just want that voice. That's what makes his newest song, dropped unceremoniously on his tumblr the night of his New York gig, surprising. "Blue Whale" is a rap track, with no soaring vocals. But it's still Frankie, so the song is replete with melancholy images and a somewhat hopeful refrain ("This life goes on man, that’s one thing about it"). Ocean appeared to continue the narrative on his Twitter page on Tuesday:
Listen to "Blue Whale" above. More Frank below.