There seemed to be an air of Toronto pride in the audience last Friday night at the Danforth Music Hall. While waiting for the Charlotte Day Wilson show, I noticed the room had a pleasant array of people from all different walks of life, many wearing the same small smile of anticipation. It felt as though all different types came together that evening to watch yet another homegrown star shine.
Miss Charlotte’s humble surprise at the large turnout in her home city was the only thing that hinted that she was new to the fame game. It seemed like she really couldn’t believe it, which was intimate. The performance itself was flawless, and her vocals on point and unfaltering all the way through.
For a show with an easygoing tempo, people were still moved to sway, twist, and bounce to the positively ethereal performance that Miss Wilson and fellow Torontonians BADBADNOTGOOD delivered. The mood was light and the soundwaves were deep. Just my taste, whimsical.
Charlotte’s live vocals are powerful and confident, yet refined and warm. Her cooing, motherly tone reminded me of Elena Tonra from the UK band Daughter, but with its own unique expression and an extra punch of soul. A soothing yet bold result.
The sound was clean as a whistle throughout, which was a treat. This allowed for some crystalline, twinkling progressions from Matthew Tavaris on the keys, who played with a dreamy ripple effect. The keys chimed, glittered and sparkled with pristine detail all night and largely contributed to the astral mood. It felt like what sitting in the sky must be like.
The drums were clean and precise in turn. Alex Sowinski led a sturdy navigation with the grounding beat to keep us all from levitating away with the soundwaves. With versatility and refined control, the drums were the anchor in a show that sometimes felt like zero gravity. It all came together with an orchestral balance, despite just four musicians on stage. Charlotte casually played sax, guitar and piano interchangeably that night. To call that impressive would be an understatement.
The encore’s finale was an homage to the neo-soul queen herself, Erykah Badu with a cover of Out My Mind, Just In Time but added her own signature sound, not mimicking the original Badu herself. Great choice of final song and confident delivery.