Less is still more: Majid Jordan brought a perfectly refined audio and visual experience to Vancouver
Vancouver, BC – After their successful show at the Alexander Gastown last December, the return of OVO’s Majid Jordan was held high in anticipation following the release of their debut album, Majid Jordan. The announcement of their North American “II” Tour sent eager fans into a frenzy to secure tickets for the impressively larger upgrade to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom.
This upgrade in venue size only offered support that the duo was no longer the small act that we had welcomed in late 2015, but now boasted a heavyweight set that could fill the largest venue outside of Rogers Arena. It was an honest assumption to conclude as the success of their debut album was measured in impressive sales and regard, making them two of Canada’s current golden-boys of R&B music.
Their return to Vancouver this time around would be accompanied by an arsenal of successful hits that have unknowingly made their way into most of our households (nobody can disagree that “My Love” was one of the most lip-synced tracks of 2015). Their music has been one of the leading voices revamping the relevance of R&B music in mainstream music, and channels sultry moods with croons and swing perspectives which make them a sure-sell for any audience. Part of their wide-acceptance has come from their undeniably easy-to-consume style that appeals to every audience. Listening to Majid’s croons alongside the production and musicality of Jordan Ullman is an effortless experience, and calming to the most musically agitated. On Sunday night, they not only packed the venue with ease, but also left their audience with the similar feeling of euphoria and lust that their album accomplished.
Stepping into the venue just shy of 8 o’clock, attendees were initially met with groups of women making their rounds and poised at the various bars while sipping on their cocktails. Many had arrived in packs with their female friends, and it could be assumed that this should be considered the ultimate girl’s night out. As DJ TJ stepped onto the stage ready to spin and open the evening, the audience quickly changed dynamics. The rest of the space was swiftly filled with eager young men who were ready to dance their way through the evening too.
DJ TJ contributed a nice mixture of dance hits which drew the audience out to the floor. Many fans were already surrounding the stage well before Majid and Jordan made their entrance. When they finally appeared in front of the crowd, they were met with the warm welcome and appreciation of a sold-out show, and an infinitely supportive audience. Different from many other shows we’ve recently witnessed, the audience held nothing but appreciation and respectful admiration for the entire set. The atmosphere reflected this warmth as people were courteous and engaging with each other as they danced their way through the performance.
The stage was lit with fluorescent lighting that glowed behind Jordan’s simple platform. There was no extravagant set, or light show to accompany the vocals, but this ‘less-is-more’ attitude was credibly the appeal of the whole evening. Most concert-goers bought tickets with the knowledge that they would be partaking in a tastefully curated evening that would sensually satisfy, rather than overloading every single one of your senses. And surprisingly there wasn’t a lack of energy as their presence withdrew a similarly sophisticated appreciation from the audience.
Drawing from the new album, as well as their EP A Place Like This, the gentlemen had enough content to create a lengthy and well-rounded experience. Majid is an artist of few words, and aside from short quips where he introduced himself, generally let the music do most of the speaking. During his rendition of “My Love” he paced across the stage confidently as he questioned the front row of fans, “Why you wanna’ be my love?” Conclusively, every girl melted in the room as he made them his object of affection for “All I Do.”
It was touching to witness the deep personal connections that Majid established with his fans as they were bobbing along to his every word of “Forever.” Watching Ullman closely, it was equally impressive to realize that he was playing the keys live for the show (or at least for many parts) – which is a harder feat than most might understand. Their accuracy and precision to hitting high notes and cues was impeccable, and Majid’s voice was seamlessly as flawless as recorded.
But it was during “Something About You” that the audience relaxed into themselves if they hadn’t already. Watching everyone fearlessly let go of their inhibitions, Majid guided us with his lustful recounts as he breathed, “It’s the way you move, It’s the way you move.” We were awoken from the trance with “Make It Work” and there was a comfortable sharing of connectivity between the audience – almost as if we’d gone through something intensely personal together.
As if we weren’t already touched by the show, the final high note of “Her” had many listeners staring in unison as it seemed that he stayed there forever while holding our attention relentlessly. Just as quickly as the track ended, he breathed a calm, “Thank you Vancouver,” before leading right into the next song. Just like the ending of a relationship, their departure came shortly after helping us reminisce on their progressive journey with most of their greatest hits. “King City” was even better in a live setting where the vocals could resound off the walls and impact us for longer. Nobody was ready to see them depart the stage when they did.
The hounding screams of the audience were enough to encourage them to come back on stage one last time. There was nothing more bittersweet than listening to “Learn From Each Other” and knowing it would be the last that we would see of the duo for awhile. They were intelligent in choosing a final song that left the audience feeling a sense of togetherness following their leave. When Majid sang, “We can only learn from each other, and we can only grow together,” you really believed the message that he was relaying.
The lights quickly went up after the song ended, and as everyone walked to get their jackets there were various recollections of how amazing the show had been. To touch people without really touch them may be the greatest indicator of amazing music and amazing musicians, and without a doubt Majid Jordan accomplished that on Sunday evening. It’s been one day since the show, but Vancouver is already eagerly awaiting their return with open arms and appreciation that they fully deserve.
Written By Kira Hunston for HipHopCanada
Photography by Parm Gill for CRESCENDO1