Published Mar 11, 2015Rarely seen without a mile-wide grin during his time onstage at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, Logic was a humble, thankful performer during his first of two back-to-back shows in the provincial capital. The 25-year-old Maryland emcee had no difficulty packing the venue with a rabid, youthful contingent of his Canadian fan base, bringing his autobiographical tales of a rough childhood and rise to rap stardom outlined on last year's Def Jam debut Under Pressure to a live setting. Even on a night when two fellow hip-hop young guns in Travi$ Scott and Metro Boomin were playing across town, his evocative storytelling and lyricism did more than enough to enthral those in attendance.
But in order to get the club to go up on a Tuesday, establishing a strong relationship with the audience was Logic's priority from the start. Taking the stage in a flight suit alongside DJ Rhetorik, the man preached inclusivity amongst everyone in the room in addition to his personal motto of "peace, love and positivity."
"This is our show, not my show," he declared to raucous applause. It was a statement that stood true through the rest of the evening, with the set stopping every so often for the rapper to meet his Canadian faithful.
Bringing the house lights up so he could see the crowd, Logic spent a few minutes picking out select audience members to ask their name and where they were from, even leading a "Happy Birthday" sing-a-long for a concertgoer celebrating at the show. Another moment saw a fan in the front row pass a Rubik's Cube up to the stage, which the emcee handily solved in less than one minute. The rapper and his DJ would check in with the crowd after what seemed like each song to humorously ask, "Are you ready to go home yet?" to which they encouraged the crowd to respond with a hearty "F*** you!" It was these moments of crowd interaction that built a powerful bond between the performer and his audience, keeping energy levels high throughout his hour onstage.
Not lost in Logic's stage banter was the music itself, with a large amount of the set drawn from last year's long-awaited debut record. An animated performer, he never seemed short of breath in delivering his rhymes while bounding around the stage. Working with backing tracks, a handful of moments saw the emcee battle for prominence in the mix over his pre-recorded vocals, particularly on Under Pressure cuts "Bounce" and "Till the End." But after not missing a single syllable in his dizzying delivery of the soulful "I'm Gone," and the Sepalcure-sampling "Gang Related," one could wonder why he even needed them in the first place.
Points in the set saw him drop the vocal assistance completely, independently flowing through the jazzy "Metropolis" and the back halves of "Soul Food" and "Buried Alive" with ease. Dropping a few Toronto-centric freestyle verses that further showcased his incredibly precision, he gleefully crowned the Canadian crowd one of the top three stops on the tour before bidding his fans goodnight with a genuine "I love you" — a statement that didn't require an uncouth response from the crowd.