dvsn at the Vogue Theatre

Photos by Kurtis Toikka.

Dvsn played the Vogue Theatre to kick off his Morning After Tour, and it was like a movie. Literally. He had a screen portraying original scenes that showed images of people running around in the streets and eventually ended up showing his album cover beaming through the theatre. This screen was his number one tool to set the different moods of the concert.

He opened with the bass-heavy “Run Away” to which the entire screen shone a bright white and strobe lights flashing below which kept his face hidden and only showed his silhouette, only growing the anticipation for the audience to catch a glimpse of dvsn. 

The two tools he utilized most throughout the show were the images and scenes projected on the screen, and his overtly sexual stage presence; sometimes, even combining the two. I don’t know how to put this any other way: he literally showed porn on the screen behind him twice throughout the course of the evening. He would use the screen to set the mood of the show as candles were showed behind him as he called for the lights to be dimmed in the theatre. 

He had three female backup singers for the majority of the show and he called one, by the name of Shantel May, up to play a song while dvsn went with the other two as her backup singer. After the first was finished he kept encouraging her to do a second one matched with cheers and support from the audience. Whenever the backup singers would have a more prominent role in a song dvsn would gesture towards them and refer to them as “ladies” all night long. 

He didn’t spend a lot of time talking to the audience and when he did it was only to foreshadow the next song. Before playing “Think About Me” he said, “who’s got an ex that still wants them back? I do.” To which you heard mostly female cheers. Before playing “With Me” he thanked Vancouver for f*ckin’ with him and ensured “Vancouver will you f*ck with me a little longer?” Despite his lack of banter with the audience, the connection he made with the crowd never waivered. Subtle dance moves he made would get the crowd going and the not-so-subtle humping of the mic stand was one of the loudest points of the audience that night. He would also receive a reaction for every unbelievable high note he hit multiple times throughout the night, even deciding to serenade a girl in the front row to “Think About Me.”

Another tool he used to keep the crowd engaged was branching outside of his own discography with playbacks of Childish Gambino’s “Redbone,” and paying homage to Drake’s label, OVO, to which he is signed with a playback of “Hold On, We’re Going Home.” Back by the soundboard was where dvsn’s crew hung around most of the night repping OVO hats and dvsn could be seen wearing a big gold OVO chain, as a lot of his recent success has to be owed to Drake.

Up until the last song he kept his sunglasses on indoors and was my assumption that it was to protect him from the constant strobes combined with steady glow of cell phones flashes that lit up the room. When he did finally take them off at the end it revealed an unseen emotion in his eyes that added a whole new element to the show. The majority of his songs deal with love and heartbreak and up until that point, you didn’t get to see any of the true heartfelt emotion. To close before the encore he played the title track of his newest album, “Morning After,” and as he left the stage the screen projected the sun rising in the morning. To wrap up the entire show he rolled credits across the screen naming everyone that was involved with the production of the show and everyone who played a role in as an actor in the scenes throughout the show, the only way to wrap up the movie experience that the night was.