R&B has a way of making the winter more lively despite immensely cold dark nights. “Cuffing Season” is a time when people get together and heartbreak music becomes more real and relatable. One of my current anonymous R&B singers, H.E.R, just went on tour and made a stop at the Observatory Orange County.

Despite being in school, this concert made me motivated to finish the semester strong. It was a part of a series of shows I attended over Thanksgiving break. Other artists on the list included Soulection CEO + DJ Joe Kay and his lineup and London crooner Ella Mai. Luckily, I had to opportunity to attend this show with my best friend.

We arrived to the observatory around 6pm and waited in the elongating line within the barricades until 7:30. Somehow, we both found space in the front row of the pit and were greeted by Arin Ray at 8 pm.

This boy, wow, his voice and overall clean look was so attractive. Girls were screaming left and right, cooing over the man working the stage as he sung about betrayal and heartbreak. The Cincinnati heartthrob was here performing his Phases EP and hit single “We Ain’t Homies”. Until this night, I never heard of him and was happy to watch his set. Not to say I became a fan, but his music is cool.

Indianapolis singer/songwriter Tiara Thomas took the stage soon afterward. She performed her hit collaboration “Bad” off of DC rapper Wale’s The Gifted. Aside from this, she did tracks off her recent release, Don’t Mention My Name. “Touch Me Tease Me” engaged the crowd the most, as everyone shazamed the song, asking for its name.

By 9 pm, the night became bright as HER took the stage with black shades masking the eyes. This concert incorporated live instrumentation with background singers filling in for missing features. During the performance, she performed a combination of tracks from self-titled release HER Vol. 1 and 2. The set list included “Jungle”, “Wait For It”, “Avenue”, “Say It Again”, “Every Kind of Way” and a live rendition of Daniel Caesar’s “Best Part”. At one point in the night, guys in the crowd let vulnerability get the best of them — breaking down in tears in awe of HER’s heartwarming voice.

See HER when you have the opportunity, its definitely a great experience for cheap.

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