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Toronto’s annual Manifesto Festival had it’s 10 year anniversary last year and with the milestone being reached, a change of scenery occurred. Of course Manifesto continued to celebrate contemporary youth arts and culture by having platforms and events for music, art, dance, but they for the first time brought their experience to Echo Beach. For their 11th year, this year, they came back to Echo Beach again, but this time around, not in September, but this past June.
Manifesto announced back in April of this year that they would be moving its main festival from September to June. The lineup for the show would include performances by Majid Jordan, The Internet, Isaiah Rashad and Jidenna with additional performers at Echo Beach on June 10. And for its 11th year, Manifesto really put on an incredible show for the city.
Now, I arrived just before Jidenna’s set, so I missed performances from The Sorority, Matthew Progress, Tika and Sean Leon, but I heard all of these artists killed it and I saw the videos to prove it. And once the show got started up again and Jidenna came on, it was non-stop excitement.
Jidenna killed his set. He was dancing, engaging with the crowd, he told a hilarious story, he really had this glow about him, this showmanship about him. And hearing “Classic Man” live was everything I hoped it would be and more. Unfortunately, the only artists I really, really listened to on the set is Jidenna and Majid Jordan, so for the most part I was taking in the other artists who would be playing after Jidenna for the first time.
Now it’s not to say I’ve never heard of any of these artists beyond Jidenna and Majid Jordan, it’s just I never really gave them solid listens. So when Isaiah Rashad came out, and after him, The Internet came out, I was honestly just a clean slate music listener taking it all in, which isn’t a bad thing at all. These artists do shows where they perform to people who never heard of them before, so they try to gain new fans. Especially artists who open up for bigger artists, but Rashad didn’t really sell me to become a fan, but The Internet definitely did.
And I know The Internet more than I do Rashad, so it didn’t surprise me. Like I’m a huge Odd Future fan, I know Syd, but I never gave the group a listen and now I will. Now once, The Internet were done their set, it was time for the main attraction.
It was time for OVO’s very own Majid Jordan to take the stage. The only time I had ever seen them live was for a brief moment at OVO Fest 2014 when they performed “Hold On, We’re Going Home” with Drake, so this was going to be the first time I’d actually see them do a full set, so I was really excited. And once Majid and Jordan took the stage, they took off. They kicked off with “A Place Like This” with this crazy smoke, it was insane and set the stage.
Majid’s vocals really took me by surprise and his stage presence as well. Like Jidenna, he was really owning his showmanship on the stage, really killing his vocals, dancing, engaging. I was honestly thinking the opposite was going to happen, where Majid would be timid, but I was incredibly wrong. It just shows that Majid Jordan have really gained a lot of experience on tour and especially doing all of the festivals they’ve been doing recently, like Coachella and Governor’s ball.
Now after, going through hits like “Something About You” and “Pacifico” and completely destroying their set in the most amazing way possible, they surprised us all by bringing out their label mate Roy Woods. I was not expecting that at all. The last time I had seen Roy Woods was at the Summer Sixteen tour in 2016, so this was a pleasant surprise. And Woods delivered on stage. He came out to “Gwan Big Up Urself” and was dancing and vibrant and then he did one more song which was “Drama.”
For me, I thought it was really cool seeing two OVO artist on stage together, especially in Toronto, it felt right and special. It felt like a moment. Then once Woods left the stage, Majid Jordan went back to playing hits on hits on hits, but then again, they surprised us again. They brought out another label mate DSVN. It was at this moment I was like wow, this like when OVO had their own show at the SXSW/Fader Fort last year.
I was having this self-aware, existential moment where I knew at the moment that I was truly really apart of this special experience. And DVSN came out and did the new song, “Think About Me” and did another song “Hallucinations” to finish their two song set.
Then with little time left, because Echo Beach has a hard curfew at 11, I knew PartyNextDoor or Drake wasn’t going to come out to join the rest of the OVO family, but it didn’t matter. Seeing Majid Jordan, Roy Woods and DSVN all in the same night, it was pure magic. Manifesto really created a moment in Toronto by having a little OVO Showcase and this is on top of all the incredible music that was played before it, I honestly can’t wait to see how Manifesto tops this.
MY MOTTO IS: IF YOU WANNA WIN THE LOTTERY, YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE MONEY TO BUY A TICKET!
From The 6ix,With Love
Thank You For Reading
Sincerely, Kid From The 6ix
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Photo Credit On The Feature Image Goes To Rap Season’s Visualbass