Sam Smith Brings Smoldering Soul To Orlando's Amway Center

How good is the master of the broken-hearted ballad at putting on a varied and entertaining show?

July 11, 2018
Sam Smith

Photo by Carly McCarthy

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We all know that Sam Smith is "Too Good At Goodbyes," but how good is the master of the broken-hearted ballad at putting on a varied and entertaining show? As it turns out, very, very good.

Smith opened The Thrill Of It All Tour with a choral swell and plenty of screams from his Orlando fans as he took center stage for "Burning."

And about that stage. Shaped like an arrowhead, it encompassed half the floor, allowing Smith plenty of access to his adoring fans.

With a broad smile, he announced, "Welcome to The Thrill Of It All Tour ladies and gentlemen," before launching into "One Last Song "and welcoming his backup singers to the stage.

The crowd quickly took over his vocal duties as he began "I'm Not The Only One" and he had no problem with that. "I (expletive) love you Orlando," he said after getting a taste of the crowd's spot-on ensemble vocals.

"Before I go any further with the show tonight I just want to say thank you for making this happen," he gushed, while announcing that this was his 46th (or 47th) show. "The worst thing for me would be if you leave tonight feeling like s_ _ _! But we want you to leave feeling good. So tonight, leave your troubles at the door and sing and dance as much as you can."

PHOTOS: Sam Smith At Orlando's Amway Center

"Lay Me Down," his first hit, beautifully demonstrated his amazing vocal acrobatics and soulful stylings.

At an early stage of his career, Smith achieved what many performers only dream of by recording a James Bond theme song. After a quick costume change and gorgeous orchestral interlude, Smith stunned with "Writing's On The Wall," his Academy Award-winning theme from the Bond film Spectre.

"For the last five years of my life I have had the honor of playing with some of the kindest and most talented musicians I have ever known," he said as he introduced his band and backup singers before inviting the audience to sing along on "Like I Can."

Smith has always seemed like a contemporary version of 80s Brit soulster Rick Astley and his performance of "Restart/Best Things In Life Are Free" only reiterated that notion.  

"Baby You Make Me Crazy" allowed his back up singers to come front and center while Smith made another wardrobe change, returning with one of his most impressive vocal performances of the evening, "Say It First." 

"I want to sing a song for you right now that I have only just put into my touring set," he informed the audience before "One Day At A Time," adding, "I wanted to write a love song for my best friends."

"I wrote this song ("HIM") as a message to everyone, that love is love," he said. "I am a proud gay man and if you are proud of who you are, Orlando, put your hands in the air." The driving anthem of tolerance perfectly showcased Smith's gorgeous vocals. 

Recent hit "Too Good At Goodbyes" closed out the show, though it was no surprise that an encore ensued with Smith returning to the stage for "Palace" (sung from atop an onstage spiral staircase with former George Michael backup singer, the incredible Lucy Jules, joining in from below), fan favorite "Stay With Me," accompanied with a confetti drop reminiscent of rose petals, and finally "Pray."

It's hard to believe that Smith is only 26 years of age. We can't wait to see what this incredible vocalist will have in store for us next and hope that it will include another Orlando tour stop!