The last night of the year’s shortest month was an eventful one in Montréal’s music scene. MTelus was full of energy as Vince Staples’ Smile, You’re On Camera Tour tore through the city. With opening acts, Armani White, and Buddy, who did nothing short of impress, Vince’s jam packed performance was the perfect way to finish the night.
Armani White got the energy going with his lyrical prowess, genuinely likeable personality, and fruit snacks. Yeah, you heard right; fruit snacks.. Instead of splashing the crowd with water, Armani would reach into a bag and throw Welch’s fruit snacks. A unique, and modern twist to an age old classic move! In all seriousness though, it paired extremely well with his obviously sincere, and happy aura.
Buddy followed up with some scathing bars, and an unexpected, yet impressive ability to sing (as heard on his latest album, Harlan & Alondra (Deluxe)). What stood out most about Buddy had to be his ability to control the crowd. Armani started the moshing off, but Buddy took it to the next level. Less than three songs into his performance, he was already dripping in sweat.
After a short break (BTW, all performances were like, on-time to the second), Vince Staples emerged from the smoke and jumped right into the intense energy.
The one thing Vince felt like he lacked was, in fact, crowd control. It felt like a, let me get on and perform the songs you all know and love (incredibly well, and back to back with no breaks, and little banter), but I am not here to make friends, pump you up, or deliver instructions. In fact, I believe at one point he literally said, and I paraphrase, “if you are not hype, there’s the door.” Despite that, Vince delivered an hour long performance of everything you could have asked for.
His focus and intensity were there, as you would expect from a professional like himself, and it was more than worth the trip.
All photos were taken by Tristan Dagenais (@northsideways)