In the last year, I went from going to zero concerts for the past...6 years...to EVERY CONCERT EVER.
It's been amazing. I couldn't love it more. I am reborn.
It started with Jack U last year, and then since this spring it's been non-stop.
Pusha T at the Danforth Music Hall. I love me some Pusha. I love that he's holding the flame for rap. I love his delivery. I love the production. I love the hooks. The last cocaine superhero might be courting controversy by stumping for Hilary (from the likes of Breitbart and similar), but seriously...if you're trying to get people registered to vote, why WOULDN'T you pick a coke dealer? That seems like pretty sound logic, to me. Every now and then, to the great embarrassment of the Dotytron, I practice doing a Pusha-style "yuuuuch" sound and let's just say...it needs workshopping. That show was backpacker-y realness. I love me a multi-ethnic Toronto crowd like nothing else. When everyone has their hands in the air and knows every word to every tune. Pusha had us sing the chorus to "Runaway" and it was magic. My hands didn't leave the air for a nanosecond at that show. His last album, Darkest Before the Dawn, has so many choice tunes: FIFA, M.F.T.R., Sunshine, MPA, in particular.
From then, I went to see Rihanna with Dr. Rei. Robin Fenty is a queen. Nothing more to say about that. I love that RiRi DGAF about anything. She's so herself. She hangs out with her regular people friends, can't really dance, is just so special and perfect. Like, really:
Then, I saw Kanye, TWICE. Haha. Went first with Dr. Rei, Hanbo, the Dotytron at the ACC for the Toronto show...which was NEXT. Look: we all know I'm huge Kanye fan, but for good cause, because he is straight-up a musical genius. No one out there is doing what he's doing. So yeah, maybe you hate him because he's married to Kim K and she's "got no talent" (except for being an astute and canny businesswoman). Yeah, maybe you hate him because he's "egotistical" (except, like, how come you're not dragging oh, I don't know, JOHN LENNON for the same?). Yeah, maybe you hate him because he was "mean to Taylor Swift" (except, number one wifey, Kim K showed us the receipts on that one). The point is, you can't hate him for his music. That concert, and The Life of Pablo is a non-stop hit parade. My fav tunes are: Ultralight Beam, Father Stretch My Hands Part 1, Wolves, Waves, Highlights...basically the whole album.
Then, I went to Montreal, for one glorious night, to see Kanye AGAIN, that same week. The last time I saw Ye in concert, was about 2007 or 2008, for his Glow in the Dark tour. Dr. Rei and I went, with both my brothers. It was a different time. Rihanna was opening. The show was at the Molson Amphitheatre, we still felt uncomplicated feelings of joy when Chris Brown appeared as a surprise guest (as opposed to now, when I'm nothing but conflicted when I get goosebumps during the chorus of Waves). Then my youngest bro got into ravey EDM music and last summer we went to see Jack U. Kanye seemed like a perfect show for us to continue the kid #2 and kid #4 bonding experience, but now CHova is a bigshot dentist in Ottawa, and he couldn't make the TO show, so we decided to meet in Montreal. This meant I took the train to Montreal for one glorious night.
A few things:
1) Train travel is GLORIOUS. Wifi, not having to pay attention, 5 hours of captive time to read and relax?!? WHAT IS THIS LIFE?!
2) I got to visit with my friend, Montreal I, and it was super cute
3) the Montreal crowd for Kanye was kind of weak (lots of butts in seats), but it was magic being able to hang with my youngest bro and Aunt Viv. I love those guys.
Then, I went with Dr. Rei and the Dotytron to see Kaytranada and Anderson .Paak. Kaytranada is a total babeshow who makes supremely danceable new house music and has the best back story of all time. He also recently won the Polaris prize, and really, EVERYONE wins when that happens, because the internet is flooded with pictures of this babeshow smiling shyly in overalls. Look: I'm obviously going to be all over a tall drink of water in statement glasses and overalls. You can take the girl outta the Triple 5 Soul clothing but you can't take the Triple 5 Soul outta the girl, naw mean?
One more for good measure.
The show was at Echo Beach, which I personally love as a venue, but for some reason the sound wasn't as loud as it could be. But the crowd was super cute and all respectful and loved up and I saw lots of beautiful brown faces and I was with two people I unconditionally adore, so what more can I ask for? Not much. I listened a bunch to the Kaytranada album in preparation, and we heard it a lot at Dr. Rei cottage times. Anderson .Paak I was less familiar with. That guy is pure charisma though. I wasn't expecting him to be killing it on the drums and singing and performing his face off. He definitely won me over.
Then, this past week was Lil' Chano from the 79th, aka Chance the Rapper, aka Chancelor Bennet, aka the love of my life. I started listening to his latest mixtape, Coloring Book, in the early summer and I was instantly hooked. HOOKED. All you have to do is read like, 1 article about the guy and then you fall in love. I am crushing HARD. I love people who wear their hearts on their sleeves and are good people and he is all of those things. I'm so freakin' into the guy. It's not even funny. Then I backtracked and listened to the previous 2 mixtapes and it was the icing on the cake. I love the whole album, but my favorite tunes are: ...actually, I almost uniformly love every song. The ones I like least are Smoke Break and Mix Tape. My favorite tune is probably Summer Friends.
Dotytron and I went with our Discerning Coyote friend and we grabbed dinner and when we got to Echo Beach, it sounded like someone was already on, and I started freaking out because I was worried we were missing my boyfriend. It turned out to be this ungainly, odd, gangly white boy with a shock of floppy hair and this kind of modern 80s, new-new wave, urban UK aesthetic singing his heart out and doing odd, jerky dance moves. I grabbed my merch and we rolled up and within 10 seconds of listening to him, I turned to the boys and was like, "this guy sounds like a cross between David Byrne and Peter Gabriel" and we all kind of chuckled and then 5 minutes passed and I was like, "I kind of love this guy" and the Dotytron and the Discerning Coyote were like, "TOTALLY!" and I've been listening to his album, Farewell, Starlite! pretty much non-stop and I'm IN LOVE. My favorite tunes are: See Her Out (That Just Life), Comeback, May I Have This Dance, My Citys Gone, and Friends (feat. Bon Iver). Believe me, no one is more surprised to be into something that Bon Iver is associated with, than me.
Francis being a weird butt.
Earlier in the summer I'd watched his video for his song, Friends, which Chance's Summer Friends samples. The video features Kanye. Kanye and Chance are obsessed with Francis, which is good company to keep, as far as I'm concerned. The video is so good, guys. That dance at the end! When he performed it at the concert, Chance came out and did the dance with him and it was magic. They actually performed it twice, once during Francis' set and then Summer Friends was the encore. I LOVE THESE TWO PURE HEARTS SO MUCH.
Been playing this song at least 10 times a day for the past 4 days. I couldn't love this more.
It is warm, beautiful songwriting with like, totally warm 80s, new wave, almost Aphex Twin like production. It's like Aphex Twin meets Peter Gabriel. Which is a pretty awesome combination.
And well, Chance is just a perfect person. His show was really more than I thought it was going to be (I expected rapping along to a back track). He had a full multi-media performance. Live instruments, multiple puppets, animatronics...it was a whole quasi-religious journey. It got a little *too* religious at certain points for the Dotytron and the Discerning Coyote, but it didn't bother me (obviously, I'm the ultimate Chancelor Bennet apologist).
Anyway, THAT'S A PRETTY RESPECTABLE CONCERT SCHEDULE FOR A PARENT OF THREE. This isn't including all the films I've seen lately: Mustang, Mommy, A Separation, etc., and all the books I've read.