On Saturday, April 1st The Bucket List Tour touched down at Adelaide Hall.
My best friend and I had reached a bit earlier before doors opened at 7pm. I had already been to Adelaide Hall for a couple of shows so I figured that this would be a good idea since it is an intimate venue and we would want to get a good view while being comfortable. Security was kind enough to let us know to reach back again for around 7:30pm since there was a slight delay. Not a problem for us – it was a beautiful day, so we took in the weather and walked around the block then came back for 7:30pm.
We were first in line – security was kind, quick, and efficient. We were in without any issues. Perfect.
We checked in and walked straight into the venue. The second we walked down the steps we saw dim lights, red spotlights, and felt the groovy tracklist that set the mood for the wait before the show. Anderson .Paak filled the air with vibes – there was already a good feel in the room. The room started to slowly pack as time passed; you can see the anticipation as folks started to get comfy at the tables surrounding the general pit area (which is where we sat – right by the stage) and others stand by front stage.
The playlist continued until about 9pm, when Pivot Gang DJ DAM DAM set up on stage and got us prepped for what was to come. He, too, livened up the crowd and got us amped for what west side Chicago has to offer.
Joseph Chilliams first touched the stage. His presence emitted a laid back attitude, chill vibes, and mellowness. But once he got on the mic, his personality definitely shone. He stated that it was his first time in Toronto and that he “came here to be amazing and cute”. As soon as he said that, I did not know what to expect from his set. Coming through with a lot of humour, wit and wordplay, Joseph was able to get the audience to vibe with him. He was feeling the music heavy, dancing from one side of the stage to the other, swaying his hips and doing body rolls. Yup. He is one hell of a free soul. He spat a lot of punchlines but this one lyric stood out to me and still has me shook which is another reason to why I can’t forget his performance: White people hate me like Obamacare. Yup – he did that. He closed his set with his song, “Fergie”, which he said was an ode to the singer. Funnily enough, he spelled his last name to the rhythm of Will.i.am spelling out “Tastee” from her song Fergalicious – which I thought was clever.
DJ DAM DAM kept the energy going between sets. He played banger after banger, keeping the energy high for Sylvan LaCue, a Miami rapper.
When Sylvan LaCue touched the stage, I felt positivity. I felt inspired. He rapped about his truths in life, allowing us to feel his experiences as he expressed them with us through his music. Full of his struggles to his prosperities, his music can resonate with any of us as we go through similar encounters in life. Sylvan hopped on the mic with confidence, spitting with an unstoppable flow. He even went acapella and asked the crowd to repeat after him, All I wanna do is be the best me! He paused his performance to share his stories of determination and motivation with the crowd, letting us know that we, too, can achieve our dreams. He told us of his #WiseUp initiative where his goal is to spread knowledge wherever he goes – especially when he performs. He also took the time to shout out a fan in the crowd who was also at his Pittsburgh show. He closed his set with a list of the three things that he found were important when going on tour – 1. Showers, 2. Merch (he encouraged fans to buy merch to help support the fact that he can shower), and 3. Social media (he then asked us to take our phones out to follow him on social media). He thanked the crowd once more before leaving the stage, leaving us to the sounds of DJ DAM DAM.
DAM DAM asked the crowd if we rocked with Drake – oh, the irony of the crowd’s response had me laughing in my seat because my best friend and I felt the same way. Truthfully, we didn’t want to hear him but DAM DAM played us a banger and started the hype with Gucci’s Both which features Drake. What DAM DAM did next made me rate him. He asked the crowd if we were really from Toronto then played this track. The intro sounded so familiar – and it hit me. DAM DAM rocked with Jazz Cartier – he was really playing Dead or Alive. For those that know me, know that I already got mad hype. DAM DAM continued to amp up the crowd with banger after banger until Saba was ready to touch the stage.
Once Saba got on stage, the crowd was screaming for his presence. Adelaide Hall is a smaller venue, but Saba reciprocated the energy and support from his fans to make it feel like we were at Sound Academy. Hands up in the air and bodies colliding, Saba’s fans were hype! Saba was full-out jamming on stage during his performances, hitting a one-two dance and Milly Rock on multiple occasions. He was enjoying the Toronto vibes – especially since this is his second time performing in Toronto but this is his first headlining tour. He performed around half of his album, Bucket List Project, and brought Joseph Chilliams back on stage for their track Westside Bound 3. Saba even performed his hook on Chance The Rapper’s track, Angels. That was one of the moments where the crowd went absolutely wild. Saba also brought Sylvan LaCue back on stage to perform the Best Me (Remix). At the end of his set, Saba took the time to pay respects to his fellow late Pivot Gang member and cousin, John Walt. He shared with us the story of his cousin’s passing a week before he started the Bucket List Tour. An emotional moment turned into an homage as he cued for DAM DAM to play a new, unreleased John Walt track that got the crowd to turn up one last time for the late rapper.
Pivot Gang brings a new side to Chicago rap. With “Pivot”, they let us know to take things one step at a time and to always progress. They are a group with diverse sounds, ranging from old school to “trap soul” to drill – they have a sound for everyone. Listen below.