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Indie pop breakout d4vd brings dynamic performance to DC

Brooke Shapiro | Staff Photographer
d4vd, on the right, stands before a backdrop of a giant red and white version of his logo of an upside-down four.

From soaring backflips to intimate fan interactions, indie pop and R&B artist d4vd brought infectious energy to his sold-out show at D.C.’s 9:30 Club on Wednesday.

The District was d4vd’s sixth stop on his “My House Is Not A Home” tour and his first time performing in the city since his 2023 “Petals to Thorns” tour. The line to enter the venue stretched three blocks, and fans were buzzing with adrenaline that persisted until the last song of the show. 

d4vd, born David Anthony Burke, is a Houston native and started releasing music in 2021 to avoid copyright difficulties on his YouTube gaming channel soundtrack. Shortly after, snippets of his music went viral on TikTok. The 19-year-old singer-songwriter has since garnered more than 27 million monthly listeners on Spotify, joining R&B star SZA on her 2023 North American tour as an opener.

Indie artist Scott James opened the concert and delivered folksy guitar instrumentals and mellow vocals that made attendees sway and bop their heads during his half-hour set.

At 9 p.m., d4vd ran onstage, setting the tone for his spirited 60-minute set. Dressed in a black and white sweater and standing before a backdrop of a giant, red and white version of his logo of an upside-down four, he opened his show with his 2022 upbeat single “Take Me To The Sun.” Between snapping selfies on fans’ phones, running to all corners of the stage and pulling off a backflip, d4vd’s first few minutes on stage set a high bar for the rest of the show.

d4vd performed “Bleed Out,” flexing his powerful upper vocal range and musicians’ intense drumming and guitar tunes. He then addressed the crowd to share his excitement for being back in the District for the first time since his 2023 tour. 

As the stage lights turned from red to pink, d4vd prompted audience members to turn on their phone flashlights for “Sleep Well,” a romantic song with lush vocals and brass riffs. Couples in the crowd serenaded each other with his heartfelt lyrics as others threw flowers on stage.

The artist brought attendees onstage twice throughout the night. Two fans joined d4vd on stage and helped him deliver a fiery performance after they held up a sign asking the singer to perform his 2023 track “Rehab.” Later on in the show, d4vd brought up another crowd member to sing “WORTHLESS” with him, but the singer’s high notes drowned out the fan’s voice.

He continuously alluded to his debut album, which he is currently working on but has yet to officially announce, and played unreleased song “There Goes My Baby” that delivered a spark of energy to the crowd. James, the opener and a collaborator on the track, returned to the stage to strum his acoustic guitar on a stool as d4vd sang the melancholy tune. 

After taking a quick break to sign some shirts thrown from the balcony, d4vd asked women in the audience to sing jazz pop artist Laufey’s verses from their collaboration “This Is How It Feels.” He grasped fans’ hands while performing the dreamy song with strings and synth, making it one of the most intimate moments of the night.

d4vd held more hands during a four-song run of some of his most beloved and upbeat tracks like “Here With Me” and “Leave Her.” During high-energy moments, he danced so hard he ripped the set list taped to the floor. He also made an unsuccessful attempt at crowd surfing, discovering shortly after that the crowd in the pit was unprepared to carry him.

d4vd performed his latest single, “Feel It,” from the soundtrack of the animated series “Invincible” as the last song before the encore. He took videos on fans’ phones and jumped with a fervor that spurred the audience to join him as the lights flashed yellow.

For the encore, d4vd returned to the stage in a new outfit, sporting a blindfold and a white, short-sleeve button-up covered in red handprints — a look that has become synonymous with his brand. The backing track to “Romantic Homicide,” d4vd’s most popular song, played as he sauntered back on stage.

He removed the blindfold before the second verse as the live drums and guitar kicked back in, building intensity as he delivered his best vocal performance of the night. Instead of ending “Romantic Homicide” with the usual lyrics “I hate you,” d4vd repeated “I love you” as an ode to fans before departing the District.

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