A few months ago I was one of a few lucky people who were able to witness K. Flay at the Drake Hotel perform some of her new material. It was an extremely intimate and raw gig as she put songs from her third album “Solutions” for the first time for people to hear. After her set that night I instantly craved both the full album and another tour.
Flash-forward a few months to the last Sunday evening of the summer the sold-out crowd of The Phoneix Concert Theatre were ready for whatever K. Flay brought. And my oh my did she bring everything. She is easily one of my favourite performers that I’ve been able to witness live. She puts everything into her art, and leaves any and all worries on the outside. From the moment she stepped on stage she let the audience know that tonight was about all of us together, to leave all the bad things going on and just silence the world and enjoy the music.
Concert experiences are just a cathartic way to live and to be present. K. Flay began the show with what I would call her rally cry for climate change “Not In California”. Then back-to-back with “This Baby Don’t Cry” and “Bad Vibes”, you can tell in an instant that crowd let’s go and just feels the rhythm of the night. Everything about her style, vocals and guitar skills is so enticing to me. She checks so many boxes and crosses the indie/alternative with a rap so well. I’m still speechless.
There was a moment in the show during “Champagne” were you can see where the hardcore fans and lyricists are. I’d seen her post a video on Instagram the night before from Buffalo of a fan rapping every line to the song, and man that is a hard thing to do. I could hear a pocket of people next to me rapping along to every song and I was so impressed. Those moments are always so cool as a fan, finding out what songs resonate with our fans, or, which are their favourites outside of the most popular ones.
Mid-set K. Flay and her bandmates sat on the stage and preformed three songs acoustically. Hearing “Nervous” stripped down was everything that song is such a beautiful song about being vulnerable and falling in love. Having it performed acoustically really felt like she was putting her heart on her sleeve and letting everyone feel everything. It was one of my favourite arrangements of the evening.
As the evening was winding down K. Flay let the audience know that the energy and love that she consistently gets from the people of Toronto means everything to her, and that Canada was one of the first countries to really embrace her music and help share it. It’s always cool feeling like you have a special place in an artists’ heart the way they have one in yours.
For one last moment together everyone just let loose during “Blood in the Cut”, singing as loud as we could and jumping as high as the cartilage in our knees would always. It was one of the best ways possible to close out the championship summer the city of Toronto has had.