Home » LIVE REVIEW: d4vd’s Serendipitous Journey to Stardom Shines Bright at El Rey Theatre

LIVE REVIEW: d4vd’s Serendipitous Journey to Stardom Shines Bright at El Rey Theatre


Photos and Review by: Ericka Puyat

Lineup: d4vd, Scott James

Venue: El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

Date: August 10, 2023

For gamer-turned-music sensation d4vd, his path to stardom was nothing short of serendipitous. His musical journey began when the avid Fortnite player was plagued by copyright strikes on Youtube for using music in his gaming montages. Seeing his frustration, his mother offered a simple solution — create his own music. d4vd thus began making his DIY music in his sister’s closet with nothing more than his iPhone, a music-making app called BandLab, and his ambition. Now, the 18-year-old musician has millions of streams on Spotify and TikTok, a debut EP, and a sold-out tour under his belt.

On August 10, the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood buzzed with excitement as a queue of die-hard fans wrapped around the city block for d4vd’s first of two sold-out concerts at the El Rey Theatre. Some even came dressed in the tour’s (un)official uniform — a disheveled white dress shirt with fake blood splatter. The show comes at the tail-end of d4vd’s Petals to Thorns world tour which began in April and took the singer across Europe and the United States.

Shrouded in blue stage lights, opening act Scott James quietly made his way on stage to kick off the night’s festivities. The singer captivated the crowd with his haunting vocals as he performed tracks such as “Ropes,” “Hummingbird,” and more. As this was one of the last shows of the tour, James gave a commemorative toast to d4vd for having him, “I want to thank d4vd again and everyone on the team on this tour. It’s been very special for me. This is extra special because I get to play with my best friends.”

At 10PM sharp, d4vd exploded onto the stage with boundless energy as he kicked off his set with “You and I” followed by “Bleed Out” and “WORTHLESS.” His energy was infectious as he jumped and sprinted up and down the stage, hyped by the piercing screens of his fans. As the night continued, it became clear just how much d4vd adored his fans, many of whom have been following him since his early days as a Fortnite player. Every time a fan yelled out an “I love you,” he was quick to scream back (in a higher pitch) “I LOVE YOU TOO!”

Throughout the night, d4vd commanded the crowd’s attention and effortlessly weaved in solemn ballads to rock bangers into his set. “Poetic Vulgarity,” his Soundcloud hit he dubbed as a “poem for a lost heart,” slowed things down and set the tone for the ballad, “Sleep Well.” The pacified crowd raised their phone lights high in the air and swayed along to the heartfelt lullaby. d4vd followed suit with back-to-back rock bangers that reignited the crowd’s energy. After quickly tossing his fake-blood-splattered shirt into the crowd, d4vd performed his unreleased track, “Rehab,” which had everyone headbanging along to the beat followed by the punk-rock-favorite, “Take Me To The Sun.”

Cr. Ericka Puyat (@mikaroo)

One highlight of the evening was a surprise special appearance of dv4d’s studio manager. “I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with my story. So if y’all don’t know, I make all my music on my phone in my little sister’s closet.” Emily then quietly made her way onstage to the cheers from the adoring crowd. Together, the siblings and the crowd sang along to one of d4vd’s iconic hits, “Here with Me.” The six-year-old, who has just recently dipped her toes into songwriting herself, instructed the crowd to wave their hands in the air with her brother watching with pride.

Cr. Ericka Puyat (@mikaroo)

Another surprise guest at the show was award-winning British singer-songwriter, Holly Humberstone. Known for her dusky indie pop sound that has brought comfort to many, Humberstone and d4vd joined together to perform their latest collaborative single, “Superbloodmoon.” Both artists’ vocals perfectly complemented each other as they sang about the longing for someone who left a big impression on one’s life.

For his final send-off, d4vd performed his breakout hit, “Romantic Homicide” accompanied by the voices of his loyal fans. From making music in his sister’s closet to playing sold-out shows on his own solo tour, d4vd’s musical journey serves as a testament to how some of the best opportunities can arise when we least expect them. Until his next tour, fans can look forward to his future releases and endeavors.

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