Daniel Caesar + Moses Sumney @ Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa

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Walking into the Canadian Tire Centre on the last night of Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I knew this concert would be special.

After most of the fans, some of whom had waited since the morning, poured in, Moses Sumney arrived on stage to a massive applause from the crowd. 

The Ghanaian-American singer arrived onstage wearing a black robe that completely covered his face and upper body, giving the vibe of a modern-day Darth Vader. Just thirty seconds after hearing his vocals, every audience member was left shocked.

Moses Sumney is not your regular artist, or performer for that matter. His music incorporates elements from R&B, folk, indie rock, soul and jazz, leading to a wild yet perfectly satisfying result. His voice heard live is truly outstanding and if you closed your eyes for a while, hearing him hit every single note perfectly, you would start to think you were hearing the voice of an angel.

Moses had a great set, with highlights being his band, made up of a guitarist and drummer, his cover of Billie Eilish’s What Was I Made For? and his performances with various instruments. Similar to Daniel Caesar, Moses played the guitar for various songs as well as the keyboard. 

Moses finished off with an amazing performance of Doomed, followed by a bow to a crowd that never stopped applauding and a retrieval of the same robe he entered with.

With the stadium now in full attendance and with anticipation for Daniel Caesar through the roof, the fans were left to wait a seemingly never-ending 30 minutes.

This wait was instantly forgotten, though, when the main lights shut off and the screens on stage turned on, with live footage of Daniel Caesar and his team backstage in a huddle. The huddle wrapped up and the camera followed Daniel through the tunnel of the stadium until he reached the stage and was greeted by an audience roaring with excitement.

As a massive fan of Daniel Caesar, I did not expect him to be that good. He kicked off his set with the first song off of his new album, Never Enough, encased by a box made of silk curtains. The crowd immediately displayed their enthusiasm by singing along to every word. 

After performing three other songs from his most recent album, Daniel took the crowd on a trip down memory lane by performing Cyanide, Loose, and Violet, all while being backed by his incredible band.

Daniel had his moments alone on stage too, with the band often leaving the stage to allow the Canadian singer to solo perform his songs, Streetcar and Cool, displaying his charismatic presence and his multi-instrumental skills.

My favourite moments of the show were when Daniel showcased his impressive vocal skills in Please Do Not Lean, with the second section of the song leaving the audience members overwhelmed by the acoustics and artistry of Daniel’s crew as well the performance of Get You, in which the background screens displayed the members of the crowd, some of who were at the show with their significant other, while others were alone with messages from their phone displaying “I MISS MY EX.”

After some more great performances, the moment everyone was waiting for arrived with the performance of his supposed last song Always. The crowd erupted into a loud cheer as the first chord was heard throughout the arena. After the show, I asked my friends and those around me what their favourite moment of the concert was and all of them seemed to agree on Always being their favourite moment of the performance and their favourite song off of the album Never Enough.

As soon as Daniel exited the stage, the crowd’s disappointment was evident. It was only seconds later when the chant for “One more song” began to echo throughout the arena. Daniel, who was being followed by a video camera projected on the big screens on his way backstage, answered the crowd by heading backstage to a couch in the same room he started off in and picking up his guitar to perform an intimate finale of Who Hurt You.

With such a great ending, everyone in the arena left with their money’s worth and some great memories.

Review & photos – Nicolas Cantin

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