Spencer Sutherland Live at the Rivoli

Spencer Sutherland brought his soulful pop to the Rivoli in Toronto on Aug. 20, 2019, as part of the Freaking Out tour. If you’re familiar with the singer’s music, it’s safe to assume that his live show will be a pretty impressive display of vocal virtuosity. His music is full of catchy choruses, accented by bursts of falsetto and vocal trills. What he brought to the stage surely exceeded our expectations.

The Ohio based singer opened the show with Tell Me and instantly ignited piercing screams from the dedicated fans crowding the front. It was pretty special to see such a connection between the singer and the audience. They were dancing and singing along to every song with the type of passion that’s usually reserved for stadium stars. But it’s not surprising to see why the singer would have that effect on his listeners.

Aside from an energetic stage presence, Sutherland’s vocal capabilities alone were admirable. Songs like Tell Me and NONE of this has been about you show off the artist’s wide vocal range. His cover of Ariana Grande’s thank you, next took the pop song and flipped it on his head with the addition of clean vocal runs and an edgier rock vibe.

The singer slowed it down and showed off his softer side with It May Sound Strange. Allowing the fancy vocal tricks to take a back seat, he flowed through the emotional ballad to capture the hearts of everyone in the crowd. Following a tender moment, he quickly picked it back up again to reveal a new song titled Leave Me Alone. Referencing greed and money, the song explored the perspective of an artist trying to navigate the music industry when people try to capitalize off of their talent.

For the encore, Sutherland did a quick outfit change to put on his recognizable yellow and burgundy jumper from the music video for Sweater. The words “My Sweater” were cleverly engraved on the front. He closed out the set with Selfish after everyone in the crowd lost their voices trying to sing along to his incomparable high notes all night.

Overall, Spencer Sutherland is a must-see act whenever he comes into town if you’re looking for a vocalist with killer chops. He’s what everyone in art school wanted to grow up to be, and will probably become your next favourite pop artist.

Spencer Sutherland Setlist

Tell Me
Freaking Out
Fine
Wallpaper
It May Sound Strange
Leave Me Alone
thank you, next
(Ariana Grande cover)
NONE of this has been about you
Lemons
Bad Influence
Shame
Talk
Sweater
Selfish

Cassandra Popescu