[Review] Miguel: Wildheart Tour August 11 @ Sound Academy


 (Photo: Victoria Charko/Aesthetic Magazine)

Tuesday, August 11th, Miguel‘s sold out Wildhheart tour took over The Sound Academy in Toronto. Joining Miguel that evening would be rock band, Dorothy.Hundreds lined up hours before 8:oopm awaiting the doors to open. Upon entering the venue, there was a merchandise table selling various tour t-shirts, and even a Wildheart swimsuit for women. Fans rushed to get their merch in time to get a close spot to the stage.

First on the bill was Dorothy, who was set to open the show. The venue played a few random tracks on rotation while fans chatted amongst themselves, waiting for the show to start. The stage crew could be seen setting up drums, and guitars for the band. At 9:00, it was time. After chatting with some members of the audience, evidently,  not many people knew who Dorothy was. As they hit the stage, the band took the crowd by surprise. With a classic heavy rock sound, the band took us back to a sound reminiscent of the days of AC/DC in their prime. Lead singer, Dorothy was fierce, confident, and captivating. They performed songs from their debut EP, Dorothy. Watching the performance, one could tell that every member gave their all.  The drummer broke a sweat head banging, the guitarist showed off his intricate riffs, and Dorothy’s strong and gritty  vocals stole the show. The crowd was impressed, earning Dorothy some new fans.

The time was now 9:30, half an hour before Miguel was set to shine on stage. His DJ took the stage and attempted to keep the crowd entertained. The set was a tad awkward and laden with issues. For the first 10 minutes, the venue struggled to get the sound to an audible level, so the set could not be heard.  The DJ awkwardly danced with a gold toy gun in her hand. When the sound was fixed, she played EDM remixes of hip-hop songs which no one was familiar with. Everyone stood still with blank stares, and snarky remarks could be heard from behind. One concertgoer joked, “Look at the mix she just downloaded from SoundCloud!” “Is this her first time DJ’ing?” Nearing the end of her set, she finally played a song the crowd wanted to hear; Kanye’s “All Day”. The lifeless crowd turned up for a minute, until they realized that it was yet another EDM remix. Making a quiet exit, she asked the crowd if they were ready to see Miguel. Everyone cheered.

Miguel Toronto

Minutes later, Miguel and his band emerged from backstage wearing white from head to toe. Framing the show around Wildheart’s opening track, “Beautiful Exit”, Miguel took the crowd on a journey where he encouraged everyone to stay “woke”. The message began with the song’s opening lyrics, “don’t ever sell yourself short for acceptance”. Leading into the Wildheart catalogue, he began his 90 minute sensual and theatrical set. With charismatic dance moves, he performed hits such as “Coffee”, “Going to Hell”, “Waves”, “Leaves”, “Hollywood Dreams” and more.

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Between each few songs, Miguel had short stints of preaching to the crowd about not conforming to societal norms and celebrating individuality. His song “What’s Normal Anyway” involved a collage of people of different races, while he detailed his struggles to be  growing up as a half Mexican, half, black male in a predominantly black area of Los Angeles. He spoke, “you know those forms that you had to fill out, in school, which labels you as Black, Caucasian, Latino and Other? I never fit into any of those… I felt alienated from my peers and like I was different. But what’s normal anyway?”. Miguel took the crowd to church, delivering a great message about being confident in your own skin.


Aside from Wildheart tracks, he took it back to the Kaleidoscope Dream album for his older fan base. The crowd went crazy when he performed a medley of hits including “The Thrill”, “Do You”, and “Adorn”. The highlight song was “P*ssy Is Mine” where screaming fangirls shouted “it’s yours!” to the singer and flung bras onstage. Taking it back even further, he performed the singles “All I Want Is You” and “Girls Like You”, where his perfect voice shined.

The Wildheart tour was an uplifting show. Miguel proves to be an artist that transcends boundaries and is one of a few who can put on a theatrical show, with exceptional vocals at the same time. His energy is incredible, and the show was well put together. He preached many free-spirited and inspirational messages. Next time Miguel comes into town, let him take you to church.

Review by: Vanessa Francis
Photography by: Aesthetic Magazine