Danny Ocean has Chicago falling in love on Valentine’s Day


Olatunji Osho-Williams/Daily Senior Staffer

Danny Ocean performed at House of Blues Chicago on Tuesday.

Zoey Soh, Assistant Data Visualization Editor

Danny Ocean’s iconic blend of romantic sentiments and energetic rhythms was a Valentine’s Day treat for the hundreds of fans gathered at House of Blues for Ocean’s first Chicago concert.

Flashing green lights followed by the first notes of Ocean’s hit song “Dembow” had crowds screaming as they waited for his appearance. Despite not having an opener, concertgoers were already filled with energy.

Ocean arrived on stage in a rainbow tie dye shirt and bucket hat, giving off tropical vibes and a riveting energy. The lyrics of “Dembow” are a plea for a dance, and Ocean performed the track as if he was asking the audience to dance with him, to which they responded enthusiastically. 

The setlist for the Chicago stop in Ocean’s U.S. tour this year features songs from his 2019 album “54+1” and his newer album “@dannocean,” which offers a darker contrast to its predecessor. Throughout the concert, Ocean showcased his versatility as an artist, constantly switching from upbeat electronic tracks to emotional ballads. 

After he had the crowd dancing along to songs from “54+1” like “Veneno” and “Babylon Girl,” the bright blue and green lights became a strong purple and red, signaling the shift in mood to something more emotional. 

When Ocean performed the elegant “Báilame” and “???,” he paused his dancing, opting to sit down or stand and sing directly to the audience. These intimate songs kept the crowd hanging on to every word.

The beginning of “Volare” stuck out from the other songs. Ocean’s raw vocals were accompanied only by a piano and black and white lighting. In another quick mood change during the song, the stage was suddenly blanketed in vibrant blue lights as the drums and electronic beats returned. 

To the audience’s surprise, Venezuelan duo LAGOS appeared on stage to sing their hit song “Mónaco,” which Ocean is featured on. The crowd couldn’t help but jump to the beat, causing the whole floor to shake. 

In between songs, Ocean asked the crowd to do the sign language hand symbol for “I love you” setting up the mood perfectly for his next song, the slower and passionate “Fuera del mercado.” 

As he sang his hit songs “Vuelve” and “Swing,” his heartfelt, strong emotions had the crowd chanting back every word. But, everyone was waiting with baited breath for his final song.

Perfectly fitting to end the night, Ocean’s breakout hit “Me Rehúso” was originally a Valentine’s gift to his then-girlfriend. It’s a love song with a persistent tropical rhythm, seemingly transporting listeners out of the blue-y Chicago winter and onto a lavish beach. The 2016 track went viral online and has since been streamed over 1.4 billion times on Spotify.

Ocean treated the audience to a raw version of the chorus, without any instrumentals. Familiar beats started playing, and the stage was flooded with blue flights as the screen behind displayed the flowers in the single’s cover art. 

As Ocean left the stage with the crowd still singing, it was as if they were telling him “Baby, no/Me rehúso a darte un último beso.” 

Throughout February, Ocean will make three more stops on his tour, keeping his crowds dancing the night away across the U.S., ending in Miami, Florida. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @zzoeysoh

Related Stories:

The rebirth of Dale Duro Latin Dance Company

Liner Notes: Paramore proves ‘This Is Why’ it remains relevant almost 20 years after debut

Liner Notes: America is missing sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll: Måneskin delivers on ‘RUSH!’