Filipino-American singer-songwriter and producer Jeremy Passion brought the Modern Nostalgia Tour at the Danforth Music Hall on July 14, 2023. His fellow California-based Fil-Am artists Jesse Barrera, Albert Posis, and Gabe Bondoc were also with him. The group gained popularity in the early 2010s from their YouTube careers, showcasing their musical talents, performing original compositions and heartfelt renditions of popular hits. They were collaborating amongst themselves and other popular YouTubers in a similar niche. The tour, as titled, caters to those who have witnessed their journey all these years and how the new generation continues to support discovering them through their old or new music. Since the tour was announced, it was inevitable that it would sell out, so it did.
Kicking off the night was Gabe Bondoc. With a big smile, he waved to his Toronto fans as they warmly welcomed him onstage. As one would expect, he was very passionate. Emotions can be felt through his facial expressions, especially when he did his soulful guitar solos, adding flair to his performance. Screams surrounded the venue when he performed Gentleman Don’t. With no hesitation, fans sang their heart out. He also performed covers of R&B songs. Gabe set the tone for the rest of the night, getting the crowd to sing along naturally.
Next up, Albert Posis and Jesse Barrera. Albert is known for his rich sound and vocal range. Jesse, on the other hand, is a multi-instrumentalist. Both talented individuals elevated each other’s sound. The two showcased their versatility throughout their set, as Albert would switch back and forth from keys to the acoustic guitar while Jesse switched from the electric to the bass as they sang. The fans were delighted to hear them perform their track, Strawberry Soju. Both then played covers of songs like You’re Still The One by Shania Twain, Ignition by R. Kelly, and Golden Hour by JVKE, which felt nostalgic as these are the types of covers expected on their YouTube Channels. They capped their set with Jesse’s 2011 track with AJ Rafael called She Was Mine.
From all the build-up from the opener’s performance, everyone was ready for another round of emotional rollercoasters, soulful deliveries and relatable music. Jeremy played a few songs on keys; one stood out, an anthem he wrote overcoming anxiety called Bye Bye. Following that, he switched to playing the acoustic guitar giving his band a break. He encouraged the fans to sing along to tracks like My Boo by Usher, Weak by SWV, and Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton. After that, he brought out Jesse to perform their song Pretend. Then Gabe was called into the stage to join them. As Gabe sets up, Jeremy reflects on their journey back to when they started. Having known them for a long time and still doing what they love to do is a privilege. They then performed Obvious, a song that features all three artists. Jeremy would then thank the crowd waving goodbye as the lights dimmed, teasing the show’s end. What seemed to be a build-up for an encore, the crowd went wild, chanting Lemonade, Jeremy’s most popular song that he hadn’t performed during the night. Moments later, Jeremy, Jesse, Albert and Gabe went back on stage to serve it with high energy drawn from the crowd.
Ultimately, the group took a selfie with the audience to mark the Toronto show as a success. Everyone will look back to this night of serenading and singing along with their favourite Youtube sensations. The tour heads to Chicago and makes its final stop in New York on July 18, 2023.