Mayer Hawthorne at Deer Lake Park (Live)[Review]
Burnaby, B.C. – Detroit boy Mayer Hawthorne might not be a hip-hop artist, but he’s certainly mastered hip-hop’s roots. He played to thousands of sun-bathed fans at Deer Lake Park as an opener for Foster the People on the first day of their North American tour, and an audience of young girls and their eager-to-impress boyfriends seemed to pick up what the Mayer was putting down.
Hawthorne strutted onto stage in a slick red suit, backed by a crew of equally dapper band members on keys, strings and drums. From the get-go it was clear that this self-proclaimed Detroit boy knows his musical forebears and carries the thread of the Mowtown era into the present day consciousness. The introductory “A long time” said it all with “Welcome to the Motor Town/ Boomin like an atom bomb,” before transitioning into “Finally Falling” and “Stick Around.”
By this time we’d seen synchronized dance moves, Hawthorne picking up a guitar and playing effortlessly, and perfect backup harmonies amid the thump of the bass and wildly melodic keys. This was real music, not a throwback or some return to nostalgic tunes – although at times it seemed certain that Bootsy Collins was being channeled. Do-wop and funk with a bit of an eighties twist sped up and slowed down into some sexytime music, complete with oohs, ahhs, and clothing wishing it could melt off of warm bodies. Ahem.
“Shiny and New” certainly did the trick but there was still more to come – a lightness of tone accompanied the falsetto vocal hiIghs, and the new jam “Dreaming” led into a well-received cover of Hall and Oates’ “You make my dreams”. Then and now became irrelevant as good old fashioned talent made itself known…and loved.
Review by Amalia Judith for HipHopCanada.
Photography by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada
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