There has been a lot of hype surrounding Shad K’s Flying Colours tour across Canada. and rightfully so, selling out The Opera House in Toronto, among various other venues. Although every show was considerably important, there was one show that was bound to be the biggest of them all as Shad made his way to his hometown on Saturday November 16th, to perform for an overly excited sold out crowd at London Music Hall, or the Welcome Home show as we like call it. With a write up in the London Free Press that day, a couple thousand fans ecstatic and anxious for the time to come, that night at the London Music Hall was nothing less than legendary, and in the top five for concerts I’ve seen all year (and that’s a lot).
With hundreds of people lined up waiting to head in as the doors opened around 8pm, grabbing their spot and huddling around the merch tables grabbing their gear; the show began not long after the building filled up. Taking the stage first was The Nicest, a duo from London, not wasting any time The Nicest jumped into a few of their singles, even bringing another producer/emcee from London, Madhattr. This was the concert that had that energy in the air where you could tell it was going to be a great night, The Nicest had the whole crowd going vibing along, making it the perfect start to the night.
I arrived early with Treetop for sound check, the second they arrived they were getting prepared to hit the stage. Grabbing the mic second, the speakers blasted with one of Casper’s latest tracks “Casper The Ghost” as he rushed the stage greeting the crowd. This show being all London artists, it was great to see everybody at the top of their game and the people took notice to that as well, even though the show was sold out and felt like there was over a thousand people in attendance, it felt like it was an up close and personal show you would experience at a smaller venue. Casper and Kehmak along with the rest off Treetop, Culture on the drums, their guitarists and TT Lo took the experience to a whole other level. Songs like Casper’s “Last Night In Toronto”, to Kehmak’s “The Good Ol’ Days”, the whole crew definitely had fun on the stage and it reflected in the crowd. It wouldn’t have been complete with a few surprise guests, London’s Keno hit the stage to perform a track with Casper called “Letter to Heaven”, afterwards Haviah Mighty joined the party for her track with Casper called “Yodel Eh He Hoo”. The intensity skyrocketed at this point, as Treetop left the stage the building was going crazy. I’ve been to almost every show they put on and this by far was one of their best shows to date.
With a brief break as We Are The City got set up, everyone hit the bars, the patio, washroom’s while they had a moment. The second their drummer Andy Huculiak hit the bass drum to kick off their set you were hooked, I’ve never experience a rock show although I can’t speak for the crowd there, but me along with everyone else’s eye were glued to the front of building, people dancing, others singing along.The varied crowd with people ranging from fifteen to over thirty, those who didn’t know of We Are The City, left a fan. There wasn’t one thing that could stop the night from being as it was, it only got better as it went.
After a few minutes passed as the noise level from every corner of London Music Hall amplified, as Shad’s name appeared on the backdrop screen, announcing his return officially with a clip off the hook from Richie Black’s “London Town” single, Shad hit the stage flowing right into the intro off Flying Colours, “Intro: Lost”. Greeting everyone with the words “warmest wishes to those who chose to visit the show”. It didn’t take long for a few people to start crowd surfing as Shad went through his entire album almost, not one person in the room wasn’t jamming out that night, and it was most noticeable when Shad went into songs like “Stylin” and especially “Fam Jam”. Taking time to speak to the crowd Shad talked about how there was a lot of people in attendance who helped him become who he is, how grateful he was and praised some of the friends he had there he knew as far back as grade school. Everyone on both levels of the London Music Hall was honoured to be there, and you could tell Shad was just as honoured. As he came through to his last song, Shad thanked everyone for coming out, left the stage; but it felt at this point like the show was just getting to it’s peak, and that it definitely was. Wasting no time coming out after the encore cheers Shad jumped back into some classics like “I Get Down”, leaving the crowd in awe afterwards rhyming acapella for nearly ten minutes or more
With the hype the show gaining momentum for a long time before last Saturday, I think it was ten times better than anyone could have expected leading up to that night. It being a little while since Shad came back home to perform, it was a celebration. With one of the best albums going this year, the hometown vibe, and a ton of people ready to have fun, Shad’s Flying Colours homecoming show was by far one of the top three shows I’ve seen all year, and I wouldn’t doubt one person there that night would disagree with that.
Everyone from The Nicest, Treetop, We Are The City, to Shad put on a phenomenal show that didn’t feel rushed, ran smoothly, sounded amazing and they all had that building going insane. Shad taking some time after the show to just sit and talk to people, sign their albums and take pictures. Being on tour still, it may be a while until Shad is back for another show – hopefully not too long, but everyone will be waiting. For some fans it was even their first concert experience, and that kind of stuff is etched in your memories for a lifetime.
Review written by Colton B for The Come Up Show. Photography by Eddy Rissling for The Come Up Show.