(By: Angela McLean)
While Canadian Music Week serves as a launch pad for many emerging artists, it also provides opportunities for fans to see their favourite local and international talents share a stage. iHeartRadio’s second annual Fanfest event at REBEL on May 11 was the perfect showcase of homegrown talents who have made it big and their stateside friends who keep coming back for more.
Scroll through for photos from each performance.
Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine: The Launch duo made things look “easy” warming up the Fanfest crowd. The night became extra special for the pair after they were presented with the Certified Gold plaque for their smash single “Ain’t Easy” on stage.
Allie X: This spunky LA-based, Toronto-born singer-songwriter took the Fanfest crowd on a journey through self-discovery, stripping off different elements of her costume as her set progressed. She was fierce and fantastic and she showed it in just three songs.
Tyler Shaw: If his pop-soul tunes weren’t enough to capture the crowd’s attention, Shaw’s loud, floral suit à la Harry Styles sealed the deal.
Alx Veliz: It was hard not to dance along to Veliz’s set, which included his recent release “Higher” and hit “Dancing Kizomba.”
Ria Mae: Mae broke out onto the scene in 2016 with her spicy hit “Clothes Off.” In her latest, she says that she can “bend, bend, bend so far but [she] won’t break.” There’s simply no messing around with the Halifax pop singer!
Shawn Hook: Opening with “Reminding Me,” his collaboration with Vanessa Hudgens, Hook delivered an unforgettable performance. “Sound of Your Heart” was a highlight of the night.
Marianas Trench: Frontman Josh Ramsay wanted to make sure the crowd was having a good time. “If you can’t spell having a good time you’re having too good a time,” he joked. The set provided plenty of nostalgia with classics “Stutter” and “Fallout,” and teased new music to come with recent single “Rhythm of Your Heart.”
Belly: This XO recording artist (yes, that’s The Weeknd’s label) has been releasing hits for more than 10 years, starting with 2005’s “Pressure” with Ginuwine. His Fanfest set had no shortage of energy and songs from then and now, including recent The Weeknd collab “Might Not.” “Toronto, I f-ing love you. This is the city that raised me,” he said. “Love you for life.”
French Montana: French knows the city well, so it was no surprise that he made it his priority to give Toronto a party. With some help from Baka Not Nice, he did just that.
DVBBS: The EDM headliners were an unlikely pairing with the mainly pop and urban lineup, but they drew a sizable crowd of their own and recruited some new fans to their “Woozy Gang.”