A Celebration of Independence, culture, cuisine, music, and art is what Toronto’s JerkFest provides for the city. Being in the presence of people enjoying the experience was exciting, especially after not having the physical ability to congregate in large groups due to the pandemic. The energy of the evening and the anticipation of the night’s Headliner on the main stage were pretty electric.
Debating music decades and which is the best will be ongoing but if the discussion of ’90s R&B happens? Brian McKnight’s name will be mentioned. The man who penned and recorded some of the most iconic love songs of the decade is the man of the hour. Being in a crowd of people who, like myself, have been fans for three decades and having their kids present to share in their love of the music, is profound.
Mr. McKnight hit the stage in a White blazer, collared shirt, black ripped denim, and a pair of Black Patent Leather Air Jordan 4’s, His outfit was top notch. Singing hits from his illustrious, 30-year, 20-album career and going back to a couple of tracks of his first studio, self-titled album, the grammy nominee was on top of his game. Smooth moves and playful banter had the crowd captivated, invested, and dancing throughout his whole set.
My first time seeing Brian McKnight live was at Massey Hall in 1997 and to this day and hundreds of concerts later, that show still is a standout concert for me. The opportunity to see him again, many years later, still at the top of his game is special.
Toronto’s JerkFest was a first-time experience for me and moving forward, will be a yearly outing. The emotional connection this festival generated was nothing short of powerful, and it’s one I want to partake in for years to come.