COLEMAN HELL, RIA MAE + FEATURETTE
I’m going to be honest, before December 1st, I had not heard about Featurette. Not because they’re never on the radio, because they are (shoutout to Indie88!), but because I’m stupid and rarely listen to radio stations other than those that play the Top 40. The reason I was at the concert was really for Ria Mae, Coleman Hell’s other opener. But let me tell you, if you’re in the same boat as myself and are currently asking “Who even is Featurette…?”, look them up! You’re missing out, trust me.
Featurette’s sound is unlike one I had heard before. With what I can only describe as vibey and seductive synth-pop, it was easy to find myself getting lost in the experience. Everything about Featurette’s set had such an honest energy, it was clear that they love what they do. They seemed to be very humble, and it was obvious that they hadn’t even begun to forget where they came from. Between songs, they stopped to talk to the crowd a couple of times, segueing into the next track by asking everyone questions like if they knew any assholes (to which they got a resounding YES).
One of the parts that I found most memorable from their set (aside from front-woman Lexie J’s impeccable highlight which, as a self-identified makeup novice, caught my eye immediately) was their use of a voice-changing megaphone in some of their songs. This just added another dynamic layer to their already unique and immersive sound. Without a doubt though, their unexpected cover of Hotline Bling was absolutely a selling point! I mean, you can’t be from and perform in Toronto without making some sort of Drake reference, can you? Entirely abandoning the original mood of the song, Featurette substituted with the synth-y vibes the audience had quickly grown to love, giving an entirely new experience to the song.
All in all, their set was definitely one that I would like to (and absolutely will!) see again. While I didn’t get the chance to meet them, they definitely seemed very approachable, and prove it with their Twitter presence! According to their Twitter, they’re even approachable enough to sign a fan’s boobs (that’s some intimate fan interaction right there - I respect it)! They definitely seem like genuine and fun people, and I can definitely picture myself partying with them… Especially if their music is playing! Go check out their debut album "Crave" on Spotify!
Ria Mae then took the stage playing a radio favourite ”Clothes Off” and some other hits before Coleman Hell stepped on stage to wrap up his last show of the "Summerland Tour" to the 800 awaiting fans.
"Summerland" follows the 2015 self-titled EP and includes Hell’s massive hit "2 Heads” on the track-listing. Featuring the spring-released "Fireproof" single and a slew of new tracks Hell worked on during a cabin retreat to Thunder Bay after living in Toronto for 10 years. As the crowd anticipated Hell, smoke rose and Coleman hit the stage wearing a white fur coat and holding a retro keytar. Playing all the new favourites from "Summerland" "Flowerchild”, "Run Wild” and "Howling Moon” and old-favourites "Fireproof" and "After Hours" even bringing out the "All The Monsters” costumes which were worn the music video. One of the highlights from the night was when Hell broke into a cover of Justin Bieber's "Love yourself” and ended the show with the song that started it all; "2 Heads” which has been streamed over 100 million times. While many would suspect that touring 12 Canadian cities over the span of a month would have slowed Hell down a bit, Coleman did not disappoint pulling out all the stops on Thursday delivering an energy filled performance, showing us that the album which was released this fall was definitely worth the wait.