Review: Jon Bellion returns to Toronto bigger and better than ever

(By: Angela McLean)

On October 24, American singer/songwriter/rapper Jon Bellion’s single, “All Time Low,” cracked the top 20 at American pop radio. The next day, the song entered the list of the top 20 most Shazamed songs in the United States. Then, just a few days later on October 27, Bellion played a sold out show at Toronto’s The Phoenix Concert Theatre for over 1,000 screaming fans. Not a bad week for the rapidly rising star!

Having recently wrapped his The Human Condition Tour over the summer, Bellion reconnected with friends SonReal, Travis Mendes and Blaque Keyz for an extended ‘Part II’ that hit many larger-capacity venues across Canada and the United States. Despite the similarities, the show is bigger and better in nearly every aspect – the production value, the crowd’s size and energy and the performers’ overall stage persona, just to start.

Burnaby-born hip-hop artist SonReal warmed the crowd up and was very open about how he wanted everyone to respond. “I don’t want to sing for you,” he said. “I want to sing with you.” He worked hard to give the Toronto fans the perfect kick-off to the “best night of [their] life” and definitely succeeded. Hits like “Can I Get A Witness” and new single “Hot Air Balloon” got the crowd most hype, and SonReal even reworked the lyrics of “All I Got” to be about giving Toronto his all.

R&B artist Travis Mendes amazed the crowd with his powerful and soulful voice as he performed songs off his new EP, ‘Closure.’ He talked about his involvement with Bellion’s Beautiful Mind movement, saying, “Beautiful Minds is about being a little different,” which is something Mendes prides himself on. He also talked about the long journey he has been on to get from where he was 10 years ago to today and all the self-doubt that came along with it. “No matter how far I get in my career,” he said, “I’m always going to be a [music] fan first.” His obvious love and passion for music elevated his performance to a truly beautiful level.

Blaque Keyz had his rap game perfected and the crowd was well in-tune. He performed staples like “Rememberies” off his debut mixtape ‘The Master Key Principles: A Featured Presentation.’ The song serves as a sort of “throwback to the good ol’ times” when Sega Genesis, Sonic and Super Mario had taken the world by storm. Blaque Keyz also promoted his upcoming album, ‘High Spots,’ due out December 12 by performing a number of tracks that will be on the album, including one called “Never Change.”

The man of the evening, Jon Bellion, wasted no time on a build-up and went straight into his 70-minute high-energy set. He performed the majority of his latest album, ‘The Human Condition,’ including “All Time Low,” “Guillotine” with Travis Mendes and a tour version of “Maybe IDK.” He also did a test to see who his OG fans were, performing songs off his 2013 and 2014 indie albums like “Luxury” and fan favourite “Jim Morrison,” and the crowd went wild for both.

Bellion also provided an update on a story he shared at his last Toronto show about his dream to score a Pixar movie. Bellion’s love for Pixar started when he was very young, and his album artwork has always been inspired by Pixar. In fact, one of the merchandise items on his last tour was a booklet featuring Pixar-style drawings for each song on ‘The Human Condition,’ packaged together with a letter where Bellion presents the album as a business pitch. After getting to meet a Pixar executive at one of his shows earlier this year, Bellion was proud to share more exciting news with his Toronto fans – he has an official meeting with Pixar in San Francisco coming up. “S—’s about to go down,” he teased.

In other exciting news, Bellion will be joining Twenty One Pilots on a U.S. tour in early 2017. While we await his return to Toronto, ‘The Human Condition’ will be on repeat.

Were you at Jon Bellion’s Toronto show? Tweet your photos and videos to us at @RUtvNews!

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