Last Friday, about 700 lucky people got ‘initiated’ to The Weeknd who performed live at Barrymore’s Music Hall in Ottawa. Needless to say, this highly anticipated show was the buzz around town for the past couple of weeks. People from as far as Ohio, USA drove up to the National Capital for a chance to see the up-and-coming R&B crooner live. Unfortunately, some people who lined up hoping to get door tickets were turned away by the organizers who stated ‘logistical’ reasons.
Regardless of this unfortunate misunderstanding and of the fact that the show started at midnight, The Weeknd was truly epic. Although it only lasted an hour, it was a glorious hour. His performance was solid and confirmed that the Toronto-based artist is professional and serious about his art. His vocals were excellent, just as pristine as on record, and his stage presence and dance moves, at times reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s, left many wanting more. At some points throughout the show, he seemed somewhat reserved, but it’s onlye natural as a newcomer. Who wouldn’t be overwhelmed in front of this many fans singing along to every song. Since he’s new to the game, The Weeknd will surely gain stage confidence with time and I look forward to seeing him live again to witness this evolution.
Since he spent roughly an hour on stage, he only performed 9 songs, moste of which are found on his first mixtape House of Balloons (High For This, The Knowing, Wicked Games, House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls, The Morning), but also from his follow-up Thursday (The Zone) and the newly-released Echoes of Silence (Montreal, Outside, Same Old Song).
Here’s a photo of the very-talented Abel Tesfaye as he sings Montreal ❤
I also took clips of him singing Montreal, Outside and The Knowing that I captured on my crappy Blackberry video camera but can’t upload them for some reason…I will try to get them up ASAP cause they’re well worth it! Meanwhile, here he is performing High For This (apologies for the bad sound quality)
The other event I attended this weekend was the Daft Punk Tribute at Ritual Nightclub. This was so much fun! The Daft Punk Tribute has performed in Ottawa several times before and I’ve been meaning to attend at some point, but only got the chance to see them this past Saturday. The DPT is actually a 9-piece band who reinterprets some of the world’s most popular electronic dance music with a horn section, rhythm section, vocals and electronics. The group emerged from Toronto’s esteemed Humber College jazz program in 2009 and have been making people dance at Canada’s most prestigious clubs and concert halls ever since.
Saturday night was certainly no exception. Ritual was relatively packed and everyone was having a blast dancing and singing along to Daft Punk’s greatest hits from Around the World to Da Funk and Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. The energy was great and the group clearly sensed the good vibes as they repeatedly said how awesome Ottawa and the crowd were. If you like Daft Punk, jazzy sounds and electronic music, I recommend that you go out for this next time they’re in town!