If the Black Pumas’ back-to-back sold out shows at London’s Roundhouse are any indication, the pandemic hasn’t halted the psychedelic soul band’s expeditious rise in popularity. With just one self-titled studio album released since the band’s formation in 2017, the Austin duo has already earned itself four GRAMMY Award nominations in addition to an international fanbase. During the second of two shows in the neighborhood known by many as the musical heart of London, the group served as an entrée back into concerts for many in the crowd who had been starved for live music the past nearly two years.

It was a dramatic scene, with seven shadows emerging one-by-one against a backdrop drenched in red light. As the band assembled, the cymbals and keys began to form the first few notes of “Next to You.” Frontman Eric Burton’s vocals layered overtop until the band dropped and only his booming voice rang out, hitting the room like a sigh of relief. Burton, moving exuberantly with eyes locked on the crowd, was as energized by the crowd as they were by him.

“London, can we sway together?” Burton says. He counts down from three and guides the room through the movements, as if reminding the audience how to act at a concert. It’s something you might’ve seen Burton do at pre-pandemic shows, but it feels symbolic now. His voice glides through “Old Man” as the crowd continues to sway and guitarist Adrian Quesada provides an effortlessly funky riff. “It’s been two whole years since we’ve seen your face,” Burton says before launching right into the next song, as if rushing to make up for lost time.

Drummer Stephen Bidwell gives the eager crowd a beat and Burton guides them to clap along. Bassist Brendan Bond and Quesada join in swiftly after for “I’m Ready,” a tune off the expanded deluxe edition of the band’s debut album. Burton picks up a guitar on “Touch the Sky” before the group launches into “Sugar Man,” a cover of the popular Rodriguez tune. Burton’s smooth and soulful voice is supported by the gospel-like sounds of backup singers Lauren Cervantes and Angela Miller. As you look from the three vocalists, to Quesada, Bond, and Bidwell to keyboardist JaRon Marshall, you get the sense that some people were just born to perform.

The band’s musicality is front and center in the softer, yet full bodied “Confines,” which ends in a blend of solos. For “Politicians in my Eyes,” Burton sits down at the front of the stage. The crowd understands—he’s been nonstop since the band took the stage. He tells fans to stick around so he can meet them after the show, before a show stopping “I Want to Know You Better,” where Burton’s magnetism and his fellow vocalists’ talents are on full display.

“Bad Moon Rising” and “OCT 33” are obvious crowd favorites, but the response to “Colors”—the group’s most popular song—is unmatched. The sing-a-long is so loud at points, that the band might’ve dropped off completely and you wouldn’t know it. Burton takes his glasses off and peers out into the sea of faces, as if he can’t believe the support, and spends a powerful moment without music, just singing with the audience. The room is desperate for more when the band leaves the stage and soon, they turn around to see that Burton and his guitar have joined fans on the balcony for a heartfelt cover of Tracey Chapman’s “Fast Car.” Burton joins the full group for their final tune, before jumping into the audience. Fans hopefully won’t have to wait another year or two to experience a Black Pumas’ show again but if they do, they’ll have the energy of tonight’s performance to power them through until then.