Thousands of fans packed into Toronto’s sold-out Sound Academy with open hearts and light in their eyes to watch UK sensation James Bay own the stage. As Bay stormed the stage with flashing lights that consumed the entire venue, and a pristine guitar sound claiming his presence, it was clear that he has done nothing but thrive throughout his journey on the Chaos And The Calm tour.
Keeping the upbeat feel alive, Bay continued to bring what seemed to be the “chaos” side of the performance. Despite the fact that fans were absolutely packed in, inching to feel closer to the electric performer, no one could stand still. It wasn’t long before Bay’s newest hit “If You Ever Want To Be In Love” took over, making it apparent that this was exactly the kind of soul fans came to feel. That being said, it was a two-way-street. After the last note and a heart-felt gaze into the audience, Bay expressed, “You know you sound so great when you’re singing like that, right?”
Continuing to convey his thanks to the city of Toronto, and acknowledging his past performance a few months ago, suddenly, the feel of the room changed. We knew it was time for the heartbreakingly beautiful songs of the album to take-over. Bay said, “Let’s slow it down a bit, and give us somewhere to go…” Suddenly, we were all taken to that place. Emotions ran wild, and wide-eyes gazed up at the magic on stage as Bay delivered heart-felt performances of “Need The Sun To Break” followed by an enchantingly breathtaking guitar intro into the sultry sounds of “Let It Go.” It was fascinating to see how Bay could take a crowd from wild screams at the realization of their favourite song, to completely quiet, softly singing every note.
From then on, the mood was continuously picked back up and down through the every sensation of each song. Bay’s guitar expertise shone through in combination with his charming vocals, and the crowd/performer relationship was taken to new heights. Although, he couldn’t leave without coming back on mouthing “What!” in disbelief at the desire for him to deliver an encore. Stating, “Thank you so much, you guys are so cool,” Bay gave his own spin on Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” and hit single “Hold Back The River” to finish off one very special night.