Daniel Caesar Proved Stellar Art Prevails With The ‘Superpowers Tour’ At Madison Square Garden

Daniel Caesar sold out Madison Square Garden for his Superpowers Tour. That sentence itself may be hard for some to believe as, according to social media, the Toronto native has been in some sort of struggle to return to relevancy in his post-”Get You” career.

The 2016 single with Kali Uchis launched Caesar into the national spotlight, giving him the perfect opportunity to shine with his 2017 debut album Freudian, which he did. Both the song and the album are held in high regard as one the best R&B releases of the 2010s, and even through the 2020s.

However, in 2019, controversy struck Caesar following an Instagram livestream defense of his friend Yes Julz, who was embroiled in a racial controversy of her own. Though he later issued multiple apologies, the damage was done.

However, his night at Madison Square Garden was proof that he’d recovered from the scandal — and then some.

One of the best tools in Daniel Caesar’s arsenal for his night at Madison Square Garden was a new album that, just like Freudian, is one of the best releases in the year it was released. His third album Never Enough served as the foundation for the night, beginning with “Ochos Rios” as the opening song and album standout “Always” as the closer.

The former made for a captivating entrance backed by the song’s searing guitar replicated by Caesar’s live band and the joyful vocal contributions from the crowd. What followed was renditions of “Let Me Go,” “Disillusioned,” and “Toronto 2014” with special guest singer, Mustafa, and still, the audience used their collective voices in collaboration with Caesar’s own to show their love and support for the singer.

Throughout Caesar’s 75-minute performance at MSG, one thing was clear: the music spoke for itself, and it spoke volumes. During the performances of “Ocho Rios,” “Let Me Go,” “Disillusioned,” and “Toronto 2014,” Caesar sang beautifully behind a thin white curtain that hung from the sky that sought to recreate the visual of Caesar walking through fog, as depicted the screen behind him.

Though the curtain eventually dropped as “Cyanide” rang from the speakers, there were other moments that Caesar performed under dim lighting. It was clear that he wanted the music, the production of it, and the show to be the main focus with no distractions. In the Never Enough era, the music did all the talking and then some for Caesar and it worked wonders to create a stellar project.

Daniel Caesar HER MSG 2023
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If Caesar had his intentional moments under the dim lights, he had his fair share of them under the bright ones. Halfway into his set, Caesar welcomed HER for an elegant acoustic performance of their multi-platinum collaboration “Best Part.” It was an excellent addition to what was already a beautiful night as HER took over the stage with her pristine sound.

The same feeling was delivered by Caesar himself later in the night with performances of “Get You” and “Always.” Couples throughout the arena swayed in each others’ arms, living proof of why their love for Caesar has remained intact over the years. It was evidence of the Toronto native’s knack for making songs so deeply rooted in love that an audience is moved to find their version of it in order to feel the same feeling that pushed Caesar to make these songs.

The best thing about Daniel Caesar’s Madison Square Garden was the sold-out arena was filled with seemingly longtime fans who were genuinely happy to see Caesar for what was the first time in nearly five years. Early cuts from his discography like “Violet” and “Japanese Denim” were sung by the audience with as much enthusiasm as recent records like “Shot My Baby” and “Please Do Not Lean.”

The excitement for this 75-minute moment was maintained from start to finish and it’s because Caesar made his performance at MSG as intimate as an arena show could be. Just enough was done to make use of the large space, but not too much to take away from the tender and delicate qualities of his music.

Daniel Caesar, who is more than comfortable with his position in today’s music industry, didn’t set out to prove anything at Madison Square Garden. Yet, fans left the arena with more appreciation for his artistry and the understanding that he’s doing much better than some claim. In short, Daniel Caesar’s superpowers come from focusing on the art and making it as good as possible.

Daniel Caesar MSG 2023