Jazz Cartier brings the heat to Laurier

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Photo Kate Weber

In a video posted to the Students’ Union’s Instagram story, Jazz Cartier is seen speaking to his virtual audience saying “To all my Golden Hawks at Laurier, we’re doing a welcome back concert Sept. 5. It’s gonna be the craziest concert the school’s ever seen…”

This statement was nothing short of the truth. Jazz Cartier, Toronto’s self-proclaimed Prince of the City, played at Laurier’s O-Week concert and absolutely blew everyone away in the process.

Leading up to his performance, the first person to grace the stage was DJ and Laurier alum, Junaid.

Typical for the opening act of a concert, the AC was less than full but Junaid did a good job of warming the crowd up; at one point even engaging the audience in Laurier’s well-known chant, “It’s great to be a Laurier Golden Hawk.”

His set was chock-full of Toronto artists, playing songs from fan-favourites such as Killy, PartyNextDoor, Nav and Pressa; it was almost as if I was experiencing Spotify’s Northern Bars playlist in person.

Junaid’s audience engagement was impressive and he was able to successfully hype up the crowd for the following acts.

Perhaps he hyped up the crowd too well, as a fight apparently broke out in the crowd once his set finished. People were already passing out inside the barricades and it was barely 9:30; Jazz Cartier wasn’t set to come out for about another hour.

Luckily, rapper/producer duo Just John and Dom Dias soon graced the stage and quelled the impatient crowd.

Although I’d never heard of Just John prior to this concert, I got the sense that as an artist he knew himself and his sound very well. Dom Dias’ DJ skills were also noteworthy, using 808s and reverb effects to create a freaky sonic experience onstage.

With dance moves that could rival Lil Uzi’s, Just John gave an amazing performance and I would say that the growing crowd of mosher’s would have agreed with this sentiment.

His eclectic sound, a mix of rap and grunge/punk is distinct, perfectly complemented Jazz Cartier’s upcoming set.

The stage was simply set up for headliner Jazz Cartier, holding only a table for the DJ. Strobe lights were in place for visual effect, but his performances are known to stand on their own; no extra frills necessary.

Finally,  Cartier was set to perform. The energy in the room shifted as soon as the opening chords to his song “Waste” played, with the crowd going absolutely crazy upon seeing him step foot on the stage.

“Waste” bled into “100 Roses,” and Cartier swiftly jumped onto the barricades, a move that had the crowd going insane.

I have to admit, I’m a huge fan of  Cartier and have been since Hotel Paranoia was released. Being that I was in front of the barricades — and not in the pit where the most fun seemed to be had — I could do little more than watch in complete awe at his performance.

I wasn’t the only one; everyone who bore witness to his performance seemed to be as captivated as I was.

At this point the AC was completely full, and he had every audience member chanting the lyrics along with him. The mosh pit — which was insane from the start — only grew in its intensity, responding to and reflecting Cartier’s energy on stage.

Laurier’s audience was also treated to some new music, including songs such as “Basement” and “Itchin for a Lick,” both of which  Cartier premiered to his fans for the first time that night.

His comfort onstage was mind-blowing. When he played “Gliss” from his latest album Fleurever, he climbed atop the speakers which were several meters in the air and performed from there for a portion of the song.

The final third of his performance consisted of his more popular songs, starting with “Red Alert,” during which  Cartier took a fan’s phone onstage with him and recorded video of himself performing.

For the final song he took off his shirt, which boldly stated “Fuck Off,” signalling the magnitude of what was about to take place.

He closed his set with “Dead or Alive,” the most explosive song on the setlist. He climbed up on the barricades once again, hyping up the crowd even more than it seemed possible.

Cartier is known for his crazy performances, attempting stunts such as hanging from the rafters or diving into the crowd, and this performance was no exception.

During the final song he attempted to walk on the hands of the crowd, but they couldn’t support him and he was pulled back onto the barricade by security.

At this point, he decided to run “Dead or Alive” back again, and threw water bottles into the crowd for them to spray when the beat dropped.

As a fan, my opinion might be biased, but Jazz Cartier’s comfort with the stage and with his audience is remarkable. The crowd’s energy never faded, and neither did his.

After this show, it’s clear to me that Jazz Cartier knows what he’s doing when it comes to performing, and him premiering two new songs that night did little to curb my excitement for whatever he’ll be coming out with next.

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