Sure, we were aware that Rihanna selected Mikky Ekko for the male voice in her hit “Stay.” With her notoriety, Rihanna certainly could and would select a voice in which she believed. Moreover, we were aware of and enjoyed Ekko’s song “Smile.” But we may have been the only ones who went to the San Francisco performance at Rickshaw Stop in order to see Haerts. Embarrassingly, the strategy was to take advantage of the opportunity to see Haerts at a small venue and then catch a portion of Mikky Ekko, before leaving early. At least we weren’t too clueless – after Ekko started his performance, we quickly recognized that leaving early would have been a regrettable mistake.
Haerts and Mikky Ekko were co-headliners. On the day of the concert, we received an email letting us know that Haerts would open that night (never saw that before). The New York band was engaging, energetic and entertaining from the start. But their show-stopper was “All the Days,” one of our favorites from 2013.
Mikky Ekko was born John Stephen Sudduth. He is originally from Shreveport, Louisiana. As he went through his setlist, there wasn’t a weakness. It was the day before he turned 30 and the audience sang the traditional birthday song; we were TERRIBLE, but that wasn’t his fault. Much to his credit, Ekko was respectful after the audience’s performance, but it was apparent that he wouldn’t hold auditions following the show.
Ekko’s upper range is impressive, sometimes reaching notes with a purity that reminded listeners of Sam Smith. He was dynamic from start to finish.