Photos by Neil Van
Now back in 2014, I was obsessed with Atlas Genius’ album When It Was Now, three years later; I’ve finally gotten to see them live. If there’s anything you need to know about Atlas Genius is that the duo from Australia are no strangers to the indie-pop scene. With vibrant colors and bright lights, the band plays their set at The MOD Club in Toronto to a full house. Releasing their sophomore album, “Inanimate Objects” last year, the band has been on a non-stop touring schedule, including this year’s tour presented by Journey. I had the pleasure of seeing them live during their Toronto stop. With supporting band, Secret Weapons and famous singer-songwriter, Skylar Grey, the night was ready to be remembered.
While I was not able to catch the first band, I was graced with Skylar Grey’s performance. She took the stage by storm, with her own set of incredible lights and band. Grey, a Grammy nominated singer-songwriter, known for writing Top Billboard Charted songs such as Rihanna’s 2010 hit single featuring Eminem “Love the Way You Lie” alongside with Diddy’s 2010 hit “Coming Home”. This small town American took the stage by storm with an alluring aura, Grey kept the crowd at the tip of their toes, with strong melancholy vocals and mellow pop beats. Grey’s latest album Don’t Look Down released in mid- 2013 was generally well received and was the tier for this tour’s set list. My personal favorite song she performed that night was “Moving Mountains” which is a single she released last month. Her vocals during this performance were haunting, captivating, and slightly hypnotic. I felt like I was in a trance like state as she sang the final words “And instead of moving mountains/ Let the mountains move you.” Taking no time between her songs, Grey ended her set with “Cannonball” which she released featuring the X Ambassadors in 2015.
Finally, Atlas Genius took the stage as the final act of the night. Opening their set with their 2013 hit single “If So” from their freshmen album When It Was Now. The crowd, which was now, jumping, was ever so pleased with the band’s entrance. I watched as people began to dance frantically and began singing along to the song. Although the crowd was a bit older, it did not stop the spirit of youth to be well and alive within the crowd. The band had intense stage lighting going on, sometimes shining it on to the crowd, as well as on themselves, not only creating a great sound but accompanying it with great visuals. Playing songs such as “Back Seat” and “Symptoms” had dedicated fans swooning to the upbeat rhythms of songs. Towards the middle of their set, the band had some technical issues with their drum set; suffice to say, the band made sure not to let a single moment go to waste. While waiting for their drum set to be fixed, the band decided impromptu an acoustic song off their newest record, Inanimate Objects, “Levitate”. Even after playing that full length song, their drum kit was still not ready to rock out again. Lead singer, Keith Jeffery, decided to impromptuly speak about his love for Canada and how, Canadian teen drama, Degrassi was his favorite TV show growing up. One of the most memorable moments of the night was when the band covered “Hotline Bling” and “The Hills” by Toronto’s most beloved artists, Drake and The Weeknd. This was especially one of my favorite moments of the night; it was next to when the band closed their set with their encore performance of their hit and most well known song “Trojans”. I remember getting closer to the stage and belting out the lyrics.
This show was very different from shows I was used to going to which is seeing aggressive teenagers screaming and beating each other up to the music. Seeing a show with an older crowd who were calm and composed was different. I felt like a real adult.