Craig David Velvet Underground, Toronto ON, March 14

Craig David Velvet Underground, Toronto ON, March 14
Photo: Tse Daniel
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There are three kinds of fans who attend a Craig David concert: those who knew him when he first broke out in 1999; those who went through the ups-and-downs of label changes and new albums; and those who just discovered him in the past few years — but last night's soldout concert brought all fans together for David's triumphant return to Toronto at the Velvet Underground.
 
Prior to the venue doors even opening, fans lined up outside for a chance to buy one of the 20 tickets available at the doors, while ticket holders also lined up down the block to secure a front-stage position. The excitement lingered while the venue filled up and Montreal alt-R&B group Adhoc took the stage. Their seductive vocals and piercing ad-libs drew the crowd closer, while their personable stage presence provided warmth on a frigid night.
 
Soon after, Craig David took the stage, performing as both DJ and singer, and at times, even as a rapper. With a career spanning over 20 years, David performed classic cuts like "Fill Me In,"  "What's Your Flava" and "7 Days," but also put a refreshing spin on others, stepping into soundclash and dubplate culture. Using instrumentals, David sang "Walking Away" over Dr. Dre's "Still D.R.E.," "Rendezvous" over Drake's "God's Plan" and even covered DJ Khaled's "Wild Thoughts" over Stardust's "Music Sounds Better with You." As Velvet Underground slowly transformed into the feels of a good house party, David broke out singles from The Time Is Now, like "Nothing Like This" and "Live In The Moment," opening up the space for carefree dancing and sing-alongs.
 
Ending with the mashup track "16" — a cross between "Fill You In" and Jack Ü & Justin Bieber's "Where Are Ü Now" — David made it very clear that when you love music — whether it be your own or someone else's — you should always celebrate it.
 

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