By Natalie Harmsen
Sept. 29, 2019
There’s a saying that goes, “If the love doesn’t feel like 90s R&B then I don’t want it.” Such a statement has never felt truer than at Daniel Caesar’s second show at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto Sunday night, as fans turned out in droves to hear his signature sentimental love songs.
The Toronto-based crooner brought his tender mix of soulful R&B to a packed crowd on the crisp fall night. The show kicked off with a bang thanks to special guest Kardinal Offishall, who energetically introduced Caesar to the thousands of screaming fans while acting as a single-song hype man during “Cyanide.”
Caesar strutted out in a white Supreme tee, looking at home on stage as he cycled through tracks such as “Love Again” and “Get You.” He treated the crowd to more special guests including rapper Sean Leon and reggae songstress Koffee.
Although his stage presence was a bit muted, it was fitting for his brand of slow and sensitive tunes. During his hit “Best Part” he barely had to do anything, turning the mic to the crowd as couples swayed hand in hand, passionately belting out the love ballad.
A standout moment was his expressive delivery of “Who Hurt You?” which was accompanied by psychedelic visuals of a stripper twirling in slow-motion. Caesar closed his eyes and let the music sweep over him, allowing the audience to remember that there’s no one better at taking explicit sexual encounters and delivering them so sweetly.
Surprisingly, “We Find Love” was absent from the setlist. But Caesar instead indulged in some nostalgia and played some old songs including “Japanese Denim” and “Violet”—the single that details his battle to succeed as a professional musician. While Caesar has definitely ascended the barometer of success—he’s got a Grammy after all—his fight hasn’t fully turned to ashes.
As the Toronto crowd screamed for him, Caesar’s flawless vocals transcended any leftover bitterness from his infamous Instagram-live incident while he performed, seemingly having breezed past the upset. He basked in their joy and couldn’t hide his signature gap-toothed grin as the crowd sang every word in unison.
“There’s nothing like coming back home,” he said with a smile.Budweiser Stage, Daniel Caesar, Toronto