Live Review: Frank Ocean at Regency Ballroom

Lisa Marie Presley review: Staying in neutral: Aidin Vaziri | At the Regency show, which sold out long before CNN became interested in his sex life, Ocean was greeted like a hero. Justin Timberlake-caliber shrieks filled the historic hall as the singer first stumbled out of the wings, settling on a stool and opening the show with a scratchy a cappella rendition of Prince’s “When You Were Mine.” For a minute, Ocean looked wounded and vulnerable. He kept his arms tight against his body, closed his eyes and refused to take off his jacket – as if he was ready to bolt out onto Van Ness at any moment. As he worked his way through the aching ballad “Summer Remains” (telling line: “I’ll rebel, I’ll rebel/ But it ain’t natural”), there were flashbacks of Lauryn Hill’s emotionally unhinged “Unplugged” concert. It was a tease. As the mechanical rhythms to “Novacane,” the breakthrough single from last year’s self-released “Nostalgia, Ultra,” fired up, Ocean and his live band suddenly jumped into action.
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