Wed. Jan 19th, 2022

Lava Records recording artist Toby Lightman rocked the Sykes Student Union Ballroom on Friday, with her performance of songs from her first solo album, Little Things. Because of the small size of the concert, Lightman was able to speak directly with audience members, all of whom were standing within 20 feet of her. Lightman, who recently finished her first headlining tour as the new spokeswoman of Schick, was invited to perform at West Chester, which she thought was “really nice.” “College shows are really cool,” said Lightman before the show. “It’s an invite so it’s just really nice. But I’ve never played out here [in West Chester] before, so I’m never sure how it will go.”

Lightman had nothing to worry about, as she was very well-received. She entered the stage to a cheering crowd to perform “River,” an upbeat track from her album. Throughout the show, Lightman performed songs from Little Things, cover songs (like Otis Redding’s “How Strong my Love,” from her appearance on the hit TV show, “American Dreams”), and treated the audience to several new songs.

Highlights from the show included when she performed her cover of Mary J. Blige’s “Real Love,” and asked the audience to sing along. Men, women, students, and kids all sang the song together as Lightman encouraged them. “Sing louder! Don’t you want to find real love?” she asked the audience.

For those who aren’t yet familiar with Lightman, she’s a jazzy, sultry, R&B, songwriter who plays the guitar and has an enormously powerful, unique voice. She’s opened for various artists including Gavin DeGraw, Josh Kelly ,and Prince. Yes, Prince. Lightman was actually handpicked by the artist to open for his concert in Sept. 2004. She described the experience of performing with such a renowned artist as “trippy.”

She recounts the experience, saying, “Yeah, I actually beat Prince at pool. He made a party for me and my band so we could hang out after the show. He found out from his assistant that I love playing pool…and he’s a big pool fan, and I ended up beating him. It was pretty exciting.” Even with her rising fame and socialization with music icons like Prince, Toby Lightman is sweet, funny and down-to-earth.

“I’m just another girl,” Lightman said. “My whole thing is to never be something bigger than what I am. I’m not gonna dress up in Beyoncetype clothes. This is who I am.” And audiences and fans love her just the way she is. After her 13-song set, Lightman was called back for an encore.

She set up to perform a song from her album, Like Friends, but audience members began requesting “Everyday,” a ballad that seems to sum up the life and emotion of every college-age girl in America, with lyrics like “I’ll see better when the smoke clears/ When the smoke clears/ Inside my head.”

Lightman was happy to oblige and played both songs, much to the delight of the audience. After the show, Lightman signed autographs and took pictures with fans. It was an exciting, personal, and utterly unforgettable concert by an outstanding performer.

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