Kindness / Prince Innocence The Rivoli, Toronto ON, March 13
Published Mar 14, 2015With a list of stellar collaborations and a genre-fluid sound that finds elements of pop, soul and funk constantly in the mix, the globetrotting grooves on Kindness latest album, Otherness, seem best suited to the big stage. Although the Rivoli wasn't the most spacious choice for his Toronto show, Adam Bainbridge and his live band made full use of the tiny room, turning an intimate performance into a full-on party with lots of dancing, cowbells and a healthy dose of comedy from Bainbridge throughout the night.
It all started off pretty quiet, with a few people crowded in front as Prince Innocence began to perform. As always, the enigmatic duo wasted no time creating a serene atmosphere, as lead singer Talvi Faustmann's icy stare locked on the crowd as she swayed to the beat, letting her vocals shimmer off the blazing sunset created by their cinematic visuals. A lot of their set found Faustmann and producer Josh Mcintyre switching gears with their new songs, leaning heavily on Baltimore club and hints of sultry, balearic house, a merger that elicited a lot of dancing and big cheers from the audience. Their set was pretty short, but it got the crowd in the right mood for Kindness' upcoming set.
The switch over between bands was pretty long, but luckily by that time the room had completely filled up. The stage was filled by Bainbridge's energetic live band, who began playing music as Bainbridge quickly emerged and began to serenade the audience with a few tracks from his debut album. A brief interlude allowed his two female back-up singers to give the crowd a tasty rendition of Aaliyah's "If Your Girl Only Knew," an old-school favourite invigorated with some funked-up soul and just a touch of sass. "Is it too early for a Drake joke?" Bainbridge asked the crowd, who were still recovering from the band's hype introduction.
At the request of a fan on social media, he pulled out his phone to get a quick refresher on the lyrics to "Cyan," a track Bainbridge nailed on stage, but admits he doesn't play very often. Once the band had some time to dance around and finally get through a few songs from Otherness, Kindness delivered "World Restart" for their eager fans. The song had the whole room moving, singing, and eventually found all the band members (tour manager included) jamming out to cowbell onstage.
The latter half of the set found Kindness getting even more interactive with the crowd. From group selfies to crowd surfing while singing a cappella, Bainbridge went out of his way to step out of his shell and give his fans much more than they bargained for. After an incredible performance, Kindness quickly refuelled and delivered a pretty massive encore. "Who Do You Love" once again found his back-up singers stealing the show, executing guest singer Robyn's parts so flawlessly it made fans long for her presence. Luckily for the crowd, Bainbridge had the Swedish pop star on speed dial, but because it was too late to call her, he settled for a voice memo of the crowd singing her praises and sent that to her instead.
Their last song ended the night with a massive party and a packed stage of dancing fans, as the longhaired Londonite and his band got the crowd hyped one last time. Last night (March 13) proved that the key to turning a small show into a big stage affair is a lot of heart and all the right moves. Kindness had no shortage of either, which made last night's performance a big treat for all in attendance.