Concert Review: Backxwash, Cadence Weapon, August 26, Lithuanian House


This past Friday night saw the two most recent winners of the Polaris Prize share the same bill (though not the same stage) as Cadence Weapon and Backxwash made their way to the Lithuanian House to play the first night of Wavelength’s “Summer Thing,” with each artist both headlining and curating a stage at the West End venue.

As Backxwash took to the stage at the venue’s lower level with a huge grin on her face, the crowd was already pretty hyped, but once the show got started, things went to another level. This was an intense performance and a fully satisfying one. But as intense (and heavy) as the set was, Backxwash somehow managed to take things up yet another notch by inviting Brooklyn’s Dreamcrusher, who had played earlier that night, to join her onstage for the final song. All in all, an incredible performance.


For many, Backxwash’s set would be a hard act to follow, even if separated by a couple of floors. Luckily, Cadence Weapon also put on a great show as he closed out the night on the upstairs stage. Touring behind his latest album, 2021’s Parallel World, Cadence Weapon put on an impressive performance despite the fact that, as he stated at one point, it was past his bedtime.

Though his set seemed a bit brief (he played for a bit longer on the second night), there were several highlights that stood out, including “SENNA”, “Eye to Eye” (“This song is inspired by when I used to live on Roncesvalles and would get racially profiled by my neighbours”), “Skyline” and “On Me”, its lyrical references to cellphone surveillance ironically juxtaposed with the crowd lighting up their cellphones and waving them in the air. He also threw in snippets of Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” and Stardust’s “Music Sounds Better With You” for good measure.

Another memorable moment came in the form of “My Crew (Woooo),” which he dedicated on this night to everyone at the show. While the song may have been written about his time in Montreal, in this context it acted as a nice reminder of what live music at its best is all about – bringing people together in shared moments and building a sense of community.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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