Photos by Katrina Lat
The heat wave looming over the Six wasn’t the only fire in town, as Charlie Puth lit up the Budweiser Stage in Toronto, kicking off his Voicenotes Tour.
However, before he could entertain the 15,000 plus screaming his name, Hailee Steinfeld took to the stage to get the crowd excited. The 21-year-old singer from Los Angeles hit the ground running with her opening song “Love Myself”. The female empowering song from her first EP “Haiz”, really got the crowd going. There were pockets of people all over the amphitheater with “I Love You Hailee” signs, and for someone who has yet to have a full feature album under her belt, you can tell her reach and following thus far, is pretty great.
Speaking of her first album, Steinfeld debuted a new song entitled “Use To This”, which gave fans a bit of hope that an album could be on its way. While Hailee has a lot of upbeat pop songs there was a moment in her set where she slowed things down with her song “Rock Bottom”, which was beautifully stripped for a more acoustic setting. Her set was closed out with “Let Me Go”, which is currently holding strong on the pop/dance charts across the world. Hailee Steinfeld has an extremely bright future in pop world, and I’m truly excited to see what comes next.
I remember arriving at the Illuminate World Tour last year so excited that Charlie Puth was opening, his album 9 Track Mind was such a fantastic album top to bottom, that I wish I could have seen his own headline tour. Fast-forward to this moment at The Voicenotes Tour feeling equally electric as the eight-year-old girl sitting right beside me. The greatest thing about music is the generations it reaches and how it just brings so many people from different walks of life together, and in today’s political and social climate, we could all use more music and unity in our lives.
For a brief moment Budweiser Stage went completely black, in preparation for the lights and the intro to “The Way I Am” to begin. As Charlie Puth took the stage, over fifteen thousand people were screaming back in admiration. This man really knows how to put on a show. From the set arrangements and decorations to his musicality, you can tell Puth was born for this.
Not only is Charlie extremely gifted vocally but his musicality really sets him in a league with a few in this industry. One of my personal favourite songs off his new album is “LA Girls”, which features a solo on the keyboard as well as vocal re-arrangements topped off with falsettos that leave you in awe. If you didn’t know who he was but could watch one performance from him on a loop for the rest of your life that would be the one I would show to people every single time.
There is something extremely special about being a part of the first show of a brand new tour, because every single person in the audience is reacting in the same way, from general fans to superfans, everything is so new. Charlie took in every single moment because as most Toronto crowds do, we scream. We scream so loud, because we want to emit so much love and positive energy to the artists and people in our lives that mean the world to us. There was a moment during “Patient” where the screams of the crowd were so loud during the last lines of the song, that Charlie stopped and opened his eyes to take it all in. You could see the emotion in his eyes, that this was the reason he was making music.
Charlie was so overwhelmed with emotional and gratitude that the final songs of the show just hit so much more. Every single person in that amphitheater made sure to turn their cellphone lights on and sing at the top of their lungs, as we said goodbye with “See You Again”. The state of pop music is in good hands with the talents like Charlie Puth leading the way.