It was a balmy summer night on Friday, July 11, 2014 as Atlanta rapper, Future invaded the city of Toronto as part of his 45-date Honest tour. This night was special, marking Future’s highly anticipated return to T. Dot since opening for Drake back in October during Would You Like A Tour? Joined by special guest, Rico Love, expectations were high, as anxious fans flooded the Sound Academy to catch the Hip-Hop tycoon live in his element. With doors opening at 9:00pm, individuals of all ages made their way inside of the venue while others remained in the parking lot, playing their favorite Future songs before going in themselves. Upon entering, it was evident that concertgoers were more than thrilled to be in attendance, as groups of people flocked together, dancing and drinking the night away.
Although there was no DJ on stage during this time, there was a play list of music comprised by MR. CANADA a.k.a. DJ Charlie B. The intriguing mix consisted of popular Rap songs including, “Round of Applause” by Waka Flocka, “Spend It” by 2 Chainz, “Steady Mobbin” by Gucci Mane, K Camp’s summer anthem, “Cut Her Off,” and many more. The atmosphere at this time was rather enjoyable before the first act of the night took the stage.
Opening for Future was singer-songwriter and record producer, Rico Love. Backed by the TTLO orchestra – who made all of their music live. The Division1 CEO hit the stage shortly after 10:00pm, performing a rendition of Meek Mill’s “Actin Up,’ which is ironically produced by Love himself. Moving forward, Rico Love carried out several more songs including, “Champagne” and his recent single, “He Got Money,” featuring Future. Throughout his performance, Rico did a great job engaging with the crowd, finding a balance of both, steady and energetic material. Despite a rather long-lasting set, Love was received with applause from spectators. He left the stage, conveying a message saying, “Take care of Family and the people that are close you.” As the TTLO orchestra packed up their equipment, audience members started to chant ‘Future” as their eagerness to see the star grew even more.
Following a short interlude, The COOLEST DJ In The WORLD, DJ Esco, made his way behind the turntables, completely taking over the Sound Academy. Esco kicked things off by playing an infamous quote from the historic film, Gladiator before saying, “1 finger to the sky. Put 1 finger to the sky. If you ready for Future, 1 finger to the sky. If you live in Toronto, 1 finger to the sky. If you ready, let’s GO!” The bass-heavy track, “Chosen One” began playing through the speakers as Future emerged from backstage, vibrantly storming the platform; clothed in a black leather jacket, a white tee, and jeans. If you had attended the event in hopes of hearing a variety of older and newer songs, you weren’t about to be disappointed. Wasting no time, Future jumped into “Karate Chop” and “Gone To The Moon” off his 2011 mixtape, Streetz Calling. After taking off his sunglasses, he followed with “Tony Montana” as well as the unforgettable hit single, “Racks.” It is noteworthy to add that throughout Future’s performance, DJ Esco did an excellent job of captivating onlookers from start to finish. His liveliness during the set was matched by Future, resulting in a spirited presentation from both individuals, enjoyed by everyone.
Continuing his set with more songs off his recent album, Honest, Future maintained his liveliness executing bangers such as “T-Shirt”, “My Momma”, “Honest”, and “I Won.” Progressing onward, Future took us back in time, performing an array of classics consisting of “Magic”, ‘Itching”, “Tapout”, “Bugatti”, and the fan favorite, “U.O.E.N.O.” By this time, the crowd was fully engaged, soaking up everything the Rockstar gave them. If the bassline from “Covered N Money” wasn’t enough to shake the floor beneath, “Good Kush and Alcohol” and “Way Too Gone” certainly were. Slowing things down, DJ Esco asked everyone to hold their cell phones in the air as Future performed his smash single, “Turn On The Lights” while hundreds of devices illuminated the dark lit venue. Concluding the night with the same energy that he hit the stage with, Future performed “Same Damn Time”, “Move That Dope”, and “Shit” which all saw an immense reaction from the crowd. Before exiting, Future Hendrix addressed the audience by saying “Make some noise for yourself right now,” while thunderous cheers echoed through the Sound Academy.
If you were one of the 20,000 fans in attendance during Drake’s Would You Like A Tour? stop in Toronto, you would know that Future’s set was cut rather short due to the restrictions and set times considering an event of that magnitude. This night made his return to Toronto that much more exhilarating, giving fans a truly memorable experience. Given his extensive catalogue, it was satisfying to see him perform a variety of songs, old and new. Great sound and lighting also played a key role right through the night, making the Sound Academy one of the best venues to attend to date. If you failed to see Future perform for the low price of $40.00, you really, really, really missed out. But hey, I’m just being Honest.
Review written by: Michael Lavictoire for The Come Up Show.
Photography by: Eddy Rissling for The Come Up Show.