“Reginald Lamar Williams Junior” has a certain pedigree, no? It definitely sounds like the kind of singer/songwriter who would wow with a classical guitar at a fancy restaurant while patrons sipped on an expensive chardonnay.

However, Reginald Lamar Williams Jr. also goes by R.LUM.R. This other persona is all about giving good Alternative R&B music to a younger generation.

With unique lighting techniques, groovy dance moves, and literally being three feet away from R.LUM.R, it was easy to understand why Vibe described his music as “the sort of woozy music that triggers free-falls into feelings.” Being there to objectively cover the show, I caught myself reminiscing on past loves and remembering being frustrated with the difficulties of relationships.

His 2016 viral song, “Frustrated” has garnered 20 million plays on Spotify alone as of July 2017; he even performed it on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

While the stage setting may have been eerily beautiful, it was simple enough not to distract the audience from the main focus: him. The one spotlight highlighted his eccentric hair, his Einstein glasses and his “Phangs” hoodie, giving the attentive audience of The Grog an up close and personal view of this soulful, personal performer.

While a lot of the time was filled with powerful ballads, R.LUM.R spoke to his audience like longtime friends. While he told us this was his first time in Cleveland, it was hard to believe. The crowd knew the words to almost every song and his back-and-forth brought laughter in between tunes from both sides of the stage.

R.LUM.R is a sensational Alternative R&B performer that broke down the artist-viewer barrier with his wide charming smile and relatable personality. Being at The Grog, sitting on the stage, and experiencing this concert with complete strangers actually felt like I was in a big room with close friends.

Rolling Stone called him a “buzzing R&B star on the rise,” and described him as being “well-armored in this world of Trap and EDM” that, truthfully, I’m growing tired of. Listening to an artist put his soul into his songs is a refreshing taste of true emotions for us all.

If you’re looking for a fun concert where you’re not only going to laugh but close your eyes and sway, find where R.LUM.R is performing next; even if you go alone, you’ll be with friends.

Photos and Review by Courtney A. Ramey