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AJ Rafael Closes Out His West 

Coast Tour With a Bang!

WRITTEN BY : GLENALYN ANN FOR HALSUG

After eight sold-out shows, AJ Rafael finishes the West Coast leg of his “Take Me Back” tour at The Roxy in West Hollywood, CA with another full house. AJ Rafael is a singer-songwriter and internet personality who rose to fame on YouTube in the early 2000s while posting original music and covers. Soon he became one of the first Asian creators on the platform and created a name for himself in the music industry. 

Yet, before the industry veteran would hit the stage, the night kicked off with an impressive set from opener Nieman, an R&B/pop artist from Los Angeles, California. Nieman performed original songs like “Timeless” and “CONFIDENTIAL” to hype the crowd with his strong stage presence and soothing vocals.

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PHOTO CREDIT: GLENALYN ANN

As the audience cheered at Nieman’s amazing performance, silence fell over the crowd as a countdown was displayed. And before you know it, the countdown had gone to zero and a video of Rafael’s past began to play. Soon enough the crowd started to cheer as AJ Rafael hit the stage and began his performance.

Off the bat, the audience was ecstatic to see their favorite artist enjoying his time on stage, which made the floors of The Roxy rumble with their cheers. Performing classics like “When We Say” and “Showstopper,” you could hear not only Rafael’s amazing live vocals but also the vocals of the audience singing along word-by-word. 

PHOTO CREDIT: GLENALYN ANN

Not only were classics being sung but Rafael also performed his latest single “Take Me Back,” which is his first original song in 3 ½ years. The crowd's enthusiastic response was a testament to the deep anticipation for new music from this beloved artist.

Throughout the evening, Rafael seamlessly mixed stories and performances throughout his set, creating an intimate atmosphere that made fans feel a deeper connection with the artist. His ability to connect on a personal level, both through his music and his words, was truly remarkable.

Adding to the magic of the night, Rafael also invited his wife Alyssa Rafael to join him on stage and perform a few songs, including a Disney medley, to pay homage to how they met, and “Officially Missing You” by Tamia. Their chemistry on stage was heartwarming, and it was evident that their love story resonated deeply with the audience.

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PHOTO CREDIT: GLENALYN ANN

But Rafael had more surprises in store. Throughout the evening, he brought out a lineup of talented guest artists and friends, including Cathy Nguyen, Simu Liu, Tori Kelly, JR Aquino, as well as his siblings and mother. Together, they delivered heartfelt covers like Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat's "Lucky" (Cathy Nguyen), Kings of Leon’s Use Somebody” (Simu Liu), and some of AJ's older classics, like “Without You” (Tori Kelly) and "My Soldier" (His Siblings and Mother). These collaborations added an extra layer of nostalgia and emotion to the already unforgettable evening. 

As the final notes rang out and AJ Rafael's Take Me Back Tour was coming to an end, it was clear that this was more than just a concert; it was a celebration of AJ Rafael’s music journey and will definitely be a night that will forever hold a special place in the hearts of everyone in attendance. AJ Rafael's legacy in the music industry is undeniable, and his fans can't wait to see what the future holds for this talented artist.

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PHOTO CREDIT: GLENALYN ANN

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