Photos | Review: KOTA the Friend in Boston, Massachusetts

Who: FOTO Tour РKOTA the Friend, Tr̩ Yung, Cozy the Saint

Where: Middle East Sonia, Cambridge, Massachusetts 

When: August, 4, 2019

Making his second stop in Boston, technically Cambridge, KOTA the Friend returned to give a sold-out crowd a night they wouldn’t forget. Previously opening for Cracker at the Middle East Upstairs, KOTA’s return was a part of his current FOTO Tour. His stop in Boston was the second show of his tour and was this time held in the Sonia, a bigger room within the Middle East. Opening for KOTA were artists Tré Yung and Cozy the Saint. Both artists would fall under the hip hop genre with Tré Yung having a similar style to KOTA and Cozy the Saint following the same sound as mainstream hip hop today. Despite the two’s difference in sound, they both worked to help energize the crowd for KOTA’s inevitable takeover on stage.

As the tour’s name was that of KOTA’s May Album FOTO, there was no shortage of music to perform. FOTA is almost twice the size of his previous album, Anything. released back in February of last year, featuring 19 songs. Despite FOTO being twice the size, the album has one less feature than Anything. which allows for KOTA to prove what fans already know: he can rap. Wasting no time doing so, KOTA opened with the first song off FOTO “Full Bloom”. In contrast with the majority of shows today, KOTA’s original recording of the song did not dominate his performance. Instead, while performing songs like “Full Bloom” and “Birdie”, KOTA rapped every word with only the instrumentals playing. In addition, while performing songs like “Sedona” and “Chicago Diner” KOTA rapped every word with the instrumentals and lyrics playing softly in the background.

While on stage, KOTA brought an energy that you wouldn’t expect from the mellow vibe of his songs. Most notable, while performing one of his most popular songs “Colorado”, KOTA had the crowd jumping with their arms in the air singing along to every word. The crowd was no different when KOTA performed “Church” as they replicated a line of the song which reads “Hands up in the air like we in church”. Occasionally, In between songs, KOTA would showcase more of his rapping ability by freestyling for the crowd. Topics mentioned in the freestyles ranged from his increasing success to the girl next door. Despite getting tripped up in one of his freestyles, the crowd was always supportive and none the less loved every second.

KOTA’s performance no doubt demonstrated his rapping ability as well as his aptitude for working the crowd. Taking songs that embodied KOTA’s calm nature and having fans jumping in the air only proved why he is headlining his own tour. Without a doubt, fans left the Sonia with an experience they’ll remember. If you have the opportunity to attend any of the dates on the FOTO tour, I’d highly recommend you seize it.

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Post and photos by Spencer Bernard

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