ST. PETERSBURG — Two things became clear during the sold-out Jannus Live stop of Dominic Fike’s Out of Order tour.
Fike loves Florida.
And Florida loves him right back.
There was no dramatic hype song playing as the 26-year-old Naples native emerged Monday night at Jannus Live. He walked onto a fully-lit stage to one sound: a chorus of cheers from his fans.
“What the f--- is up, Florida,” he said. “Man, I’m home.”
Most of the attendees hovered around or below the singer’s age: Zoomers wearing their finest baggy pants, crop tops and the occasional smear of glittery makeup a la “Euphoria.” It made sense. The HBO drama introduced Fike to a brand new audience when he joined the cast for its second season this year.
But Fike didn’t reference “Euphoria” at all during his set. Not during his between-song banter. And not while crafting his setlist. “Elliot’s Song,” the lengthy tune that Fike performed in-character during the show’s finale that inspired many tweets and memes, was missing.
To be fair, Fike became a rock star well before “Euphoria.” During his tumultuous teenage years in Naples, he started posting songs online and performing with local rap collectives (he tattooed the initials of one, Lame Boys ENT, on his forehead). Fike recorded his debut EP while on house arrest for battery of a police officer. The songs dropped while he served time in Collier County Jail for violating house arrest in December 2017. He was released the following April to multiple major labels fighting to sign him, eventually ending up at Columbia Records after a deal speculated to be worth $4 million. Since then, Fike has collaborated with everyone from Brockhampton and Halsey to Justin Bieber and Paul McCartney.
Performing in St. Petersburg, the closest tour date to his hometown, Fike was focused on his craft. Before he played a single note, he proudly introduced each member of his band and thanked the opener, Baird. The only decorations onstage were two long mirrors, positioned high and angled down to give the crowd a bird’s eye view of the drum kit and keyboards.
Fike sang bathed in an ethereal gold light for much of his set, his curls shining like an angel’s halo while he strummed his guitar. He stripped his shirt off and flung it into the crowd during “Politics & Violence,” smoothly howled his way through “Bats---” before breaking out into a sizzling guitar solo. During “Florida,” clicks and thumps morphed into a dark beat as a swampy green spotlight filled the stage.
“Coldest out and I’m a Southern Florida boy,” Fike rapped, voice mangled under a cloak of Auto-Tune.
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He commanded the stage with an effortless swagger, hitting every note with a rich, raspy voice that poured out of his wiry frame. The guy can sing. But at multiple points during the show, he didn’t need to. The fans knew every word, especially during the hits: “3 Nights,” “Westcoast Collective,” “Why,” and his encore “Phone Numbers.”
When his fans got loudest, Fike let them take over completely. He swiveled his mic around to face the crowd and took it all in as they screamed entire verses without him. Fike basked in the love that comes with being home.
“It’s good to be here. Good to be back. Good to feel the moisture in the air and smell the salt of the ocean,” he said. “I got my family here tonight. I’m always missing Florida, no matter where I’m at.