LIVE IN PHOTOS: Alexander 23 at Danforth Music Hall in Toronto

Alexander 23 brought the Aftershock tour to Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall on October 18, 2022. Released in July 2022, Aftershock is Alexander 23’s latest album and most mature songwriting yet. Covering themes of heartbreak, loss, and grappling with your own identity, Aftershock is a relatable album full of tracks that can get you through some of your hardest days. It was clear this album resonated strongly with Alexander 23’s devoted fan base, as they sang passionately along and threw a number of gifts on stage during his set.

Singer-songwriter Alaina Castillo opened the evening with a mellow set of pop tunes. The talented singer captivated the crowd with her soothing, effortless vocals and down-to-earth stage presence.

Alexander 23 hit the stage with Cosplay, an upbeat track about rebound romance that instantly got the crowd dancing along. The last time we saw Alexander 23 live, we were struck by his ability to turn sad songs into a party. Somehow, many songs on Aftershock are even sadder than those on previous releases. And yet, somehow, the show still felt like a celebration. Striking the perfect balance between cathartic, anthemic ballads like Somebody’s Nobody and playful pop tracks like Girl, Alexander 23’s set delivered the audience a whirlwind of emotions in the best way possible.

Fan interaction and witty banter were big themes throughout the night, with Alexander 23 giving the audience a “choose your own adventure” option to choose between which songs they want to hear by cheering for their favourite. Toward the end of the night, a fan yelled a request for Track 9, an honest post-breakup song from the Oh No, Not Again! EP. Alexander 23 responded, “I’m not playing that one because, well, I don’t want to…” before messing with some of the chords on his acoustic guitar and quietly playing the first half of the track. Following excited cheers from the crowd, he stopped halfway and said, “Wow, you guys almost tricked me into playing that song…guess you’ll just have to come to the next tour to see if I play it,” eliciting some excited yelps from the audience.

The show ended with two tracks that perfectly summarized Alexander 23’s ability to capture ideas of heartbreak and hope through his music. Hate Me If It Helps, a powerful break-up anthem from Aftershock, packed a punch live with wailing guitars and passionate vocals. IDK You Yet, a soft single daydreaming about love that could be, closed the night with the crowd sweetly singing along.


Alexander 23 Setlist

Cry Over Boys
Somebody’s Nobody
If We Were A Party
The Hardest Part
Since U Been Gone
(Kelly Clarkson cover)
RIP You and Me
Everything’s Fine / Fall 2017 (What If?) / Night Changes
Dirty AF1s
Track 9 (acoustic)
Hate Me If It Helps
IDK You Yet
Cassandra Popescu

Cassandra Popescu

Contributor at ADDICTED
Cassandra is a writer and photographer based in Toronto, Ontario. In 2015, she picked up a camera and dove into concert photography. Since then, she has covered events like Festival d'été de Québec, Wayhome, Toronto Urban Roots Festival, Field Trip, Canadian Music Week, NXNE, and many more.
Cassandra Popescu