Tonight, I had the sincere pleasure of watching Big Data and RAC kill it in the flesh. I came a little late to the party due to the duties of being a student, but I caught enough action to keep me pumped up for days.
I must admit, the only Big Data song I knew the words to was Dangerous. Being that this is the song that gets the most airplay, I blended in quite well with the crowd. Though it’s always nice to be familiar with the set, being a newcomer at a show creates it’s own unique and thrilling experience. Watching Big Data perform for the first time was like watching a crazy sci-fi blockbuster being filmed right in front of my face. I felt like I was watching a story unfold from start to finish. It was incredible. All of my senses were on overload despite my complete sobriety. Everything from the choreography, lighting, pounding instrumentals to the crazy light-up glasses made this show one of the most memorable I’ve seen in ages. The songs that stuck out most in my mind were Clean, Get Some Freedom and Dangerous. That being said, all of the songs flowed quite well in to one another so there certainly wasn’t a low point during the entire set. My biggest issue with the set was how difficult it was to hear the singers, but that was probably because I stood right next to the stage. I’m definitely looking forward to reliving this set as I rediscover everything I heard for the first time tonight.
The main event was RAC, supported by SPEAK and Pink Feathers. This is a combo I’ve seen the past two times they’ve come through the 6ix. I’m no stranger to RAC. I reviewed the last show at the Danforth Music Hall just over a year ago, and it’s one of my favourite posts to date. My iTunes is absolutely rammed with RAC tunes so it was a treat being able to sing along to every song I heard tonight. This set was definitely a changeup from Big Data, but I enjoyed how much it felt like watching friends perform. I’m not crazy… I know these people are strangers, but they put out such strong vibes of fun and positivity that they feel like friends. You can see it on their faces that they’re having a great time and, as an audience member, I’m inclined to enjoy the experience as much as they are. They opened the set with Tongues, which is an old faithful for me, and was the perfect song to get the show started. It’s fast, pleasing to the ears and completely infectious. Afterwards, they moved through a few of the classics, including Tear You Down, Let Go, Hollywood and Ready For It (which is easily one of my favourites). It’s a dream of mine to one day see these ones performed with the original collaborators (Alex Ebert, MNDR, Penguin Prison and St. Lucia), but the boys from SPEAK and Pink Feathers did an absolutely amazing job tonight. It was a real pleasure to hear some of RAC’s new releases performed for the first time (my first time, probably not his). Of the new tunes, I think my favourite may have to be 3AM. Pink Feathers absolutely nailed the vocals and the sound is something completely new from what I’ve heard out of RAC in the past. I absolutely loved it. My favourite out of their past hits was probably Say My Name, because I’m obsessed with Odesza and thoroughly enjoy RAC’s version of what I’d consider a new classic. Other big hits from this set would be the closers, Back of the Car and Cheap Sunglasses. These songs are perfect to get the crowd going and hype them up for the encore. I overheard someone behind me talking about how clever and funny the lyrics are in Cheap Sunglasses and they’re not wrong. It’s a great song to sing along to. On that note, they left the crowd demanding more. The encores included a stellar cover of the Cranberries’ Dreams that really hits home. I’ve heard this same crew sing it before and I always look forward to it. Overall, this show was nothing short of surprising because it was another great set. It’s extra special to hear all of these songs with live instrumentals and vocals because sometimes you lose that humanizing element in pop/electronic music. Not to mention, it sheds a slightly different light on songs that I listen to on a regular basis since RAC has been a staple for years now. There’s a reason I make a point to see RAC every time he comes to town and you can be sure I’ll be there next time.
Real life responsibilities like money and homework kept me from going to the Chance the Rapper show I’d been looking forward to for months. It hurt my heart to sit at my kitchen table, writing a paper knowing, Chance was only a few kilometres away. I can only imagine someone was enjoying my tickets while witnessing him kill it on stage at the Sound Academy, but what can you do…
At least he has gifted us fans with a new tune that soothes my sorrows. It’s everything you’d expect from classic Chance. It would have been unreal to hear Angels in the flesh, but there will be a next time.
I don’t know why I was so out of the loop on this one. I’m a huge fan of Donald Glover, so I thought I knew every Childish Gambino track out there. Somehow I missed this one, and it’s incredible. Crawl is addictive. Something in me needs to hear it every morning before I can start my day. The thing about Childish Gambino tunes is that they just don’t get old. This one’s been on repeat since it graced my presence on a Spotify playlist. The hook just gets me. It’s so fun, yet it has just the right amount of hardness to give it some edge. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of this one. I’m just sad it took me this long to discover it.
It’s no secret I’m a fan of the Knocks. These guys have made appearances again and again on this blog, and about 10,000x more on my playlist. I Wish is everything I’d hoped for. It’s a song you can’t not dance to. The beat is amazing, the lyrics are amusing as hell and the vocals are prefect. Matthew Koma knows what he’s doing. I’ve been a fan since Zed’s Spectrum, straight through the RAC days. Every time I see his name on a track I know it’s going to be good, and when you throw the Knocks in the mix it’s going to be unreal. I’d call this a perfect combination.
This is the kind of track I can’t get enough of… one that takes you on a journey. The beginning kind of sounds like a scene in a horror movie that’s about to go from gloomy to downright outrageous, and that’s exactly what 90210 does. The buildup is intense for a hip-hop song and the payoff is magic. The creepy, haunting vocals in the background are just what I needed to get hooked. The change-up mid-tune is reminiscent of classic Kanye and there’s absolutely no doubt in my love for Yeezus. The song finishes leaving me feeling totally satisfied, not unlike the end of the perfect zombie flick. Clearly, I’m pumped for Halloween and this song is getting me there. The lyrics are enough to keep me from getting bored, Travi$ Scott’s style is perfect and the beat is just right. Those are the ingredients for a delicious track, but it’s the production that takes it to the next level. Kudos to DJ Dahi and friends. To me, this was nothing short of perfection.
I wish there was a video to post but this is the best I could do:
Some may say summer ended after Labour Day, but for whatever reason today feels like we’re finally nearing the end to me. It’s not the first cold day. It’s not even a cold day at all, but we’re half way through September so reality is starting to hit. Summer 2015 was a good one. I started graduate school, hit up a ton of shows, enjoyed exploring my new city, spent way too much time out on boats and got an amazing tan. All of those things were wonderful, but the highlight was definitely Wayhome Festival. I spent months looking forward to it and it more than exceeded my expectations. I would give anything to go back and relive it. Since time travel isn’t an option yet, this tune will do. Odesza’s Bloom brings me back to Saturday night of Wayhome, dancing by myself in a crowd full of strangers and feeling absolutely elated to be hearing one of my favourite acts in the flesh again. It’s even better because this is the live version, so I really feel like I’m there. That night is one I’ll never forget.
I really want to be one of those people that loves my job so much that I can’t wait to go back to work, but I’m not. My days are certainly much more entertaining than they used to be because of the amazing things I’ve been able to experience as a graduate student, but I can’t help feeling a little anxiety. The sense of impending doom due to the tiny window of time I have to complete my experiments and write my thesis has made me treasure my weekends now more than ever. I long for the chance to escape my responsibilities for a night. Unfortunately, I have to keep a part time job because the city life is outrageously expensive, so when I do have a weekend night off I put all my energy in to making sure it’s worthwhile. When I finally get to let loose on a Friday or Saturday, it feels a bit like Christmas Day as a six year old. I get so excited and hype it up for so long. Once it actually arrives I make sure I’m having a great time but I also feel a little sadness knowing it’s coming to an end. The song that completely encapsulates that feeling is Hot Chip’s Need You Now.
The beat in this song is infectious. It’s absolutely a song you want to dance to, but that touch of sadness emanates through. The lyrics may describe a scenario slightly different from mine, but the feeling is the same. It’s that sense of longing I start to feel as soon as my night nears the end, but in my case it’s for more time. This sounds a little depressing, but the sadness certainly isn’t overwhelming. The melody is uplifting enough to remind me to enjoy myself and get lost in the music while I still can. This is the perfect song to make sure I end my night on the right note. I absolutely love it.