Tinashe – Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto – March 4th, 2016

Review and Photos by Mike Bax


Full disclosure – I know nothing about Tinashe. Scratch that. I KNEW nothing about Tinashe. I’ve seen her live now, and can safely say two things: One: Her show was too big for the Toronto Phoenix stage. We were lucky to see this starlet in such an intimate setting. Two: It’s safe to say she’s well on her way to becoming a full-on stadium capacity touring musician. #lotsoftalent

Over the course of just over an hour last night, Tinashe, along with her troop of choreographed dancers, a drummer and a keyboardist, delivered a powerhouse performance of her signature hybrid of rhythm and blues and hip hop. The evening consisted of music from her 2014 Aquarius album, some mixtape singles, and material from her upcoming Joyride album (due to be released in the next month or two).

The majority of this show will surely already reside online in some way, shape or form; I’ve never seen more cameras and phones held up in front of a performing musician in my life. Everyone shot phone-video and photographed it intensely. After trying to move around a few times to get a clear sightline (and not managing to do so) I moved to the back and watched the show unfold from the back of the room.

I enjoyed watching this performance; a mixture of video footage, choreographed dancing and sultry singing, complete with an assortment of wardrobe changes. As a performer, Tinashe’s musical talent and showmanship were quite obvious – it left me wondering what’s in store for audiences in the coming years as she grows her way into larger venues with the capability for a bigger stage production.

Of the songs played, I enjoyed ‘Party Favours’ (accompanied by large colourful lollipops that the girls threw into the crowd as they performed), ‘Looking for It’ and ‘Cold Sweat’. Tinashe’s playful dance moves and suggestive hip sways throughout the evening allude to a shift in musical direction less rooted in R&B and more in line with modern rap and hip hop performers. Even as she seems to be shifting her musicality and appeal into a new direction, the Toronto crowd didn’t seem to mind at all. If anything they were embracing it – cheering her all the way through to her finale, the wildly popular single ‘2 On’.

Ride of Your Life
Party Favors
Dreams Are Real
Looking 4 It
Cold Sweat
Far Side of the Moon
How Many Times
No Contest
Touch Pass
That’s The Way Love Goes (acoustic)*
Same Old Love (acoustic)*
Fires And Flames (acoustic)*
All Hands on Deck
All My Friends

2 On

*I’m guessing at these. Let me know if I’ve get these incorrect.

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