Photos by Jenn Noga
On one very chilly winter’s night, Clevelanders lined up at The Grog Shop for their turn to see the Loving U Thanking U tour. Fans waited outside for almost an hour in the chilly temperatures but seemed in good spirits about it all.
Once entering The Grog Shop, it became increasingly difficult to move around as SAMIA and Annie DiRusso had a packed house. I made my way to the front just in time to see Annie’s band come on stage. I’ve followed Annie on Tiktok for quite awhile so I was really excited to see what she brought to a live show and I wasn’t disappointed.
Annie and her band opened the show with a high energy set featuring two of my favorite songs Dead Dogs and Nine Months. As a personal side note, being able to scream Nine Months with a bunch of strangers was a very therapeutic moment for me. Her band was tight and they were all in matching outfits and I absolutely loved it.
Now to be fully transparent I did not stay for the entirety of SAMIA’s set. I had forgotten my earplugs and went into sensory overload around the time her band performed Forever Young during the band break. One of the many perks of being a neurodivergent concert photographer.
From what I did experience, SAMIA puts on a really good show. She performed a new song Pour Some Sugar and even brought her boyfriend on stage to sing a song with her. I found this really cute even though I’m a stone cold bitch.
Her energy was infectious and you could tell that she genuinely enjoyed being up on stage, dancing and even going into the crowd at one point. I don’t really think you get these kinds of intimate moments in the bigger venues that the tour has stopped on, which I think is something really special.