Raury Adelaide Hall, Toronto ON, November 7
Published Nov 08, 2015As a recording artist, Raury isn't quite there yet. As a performer, it's fair to say that he's arrived.
Comparisons to fellow Georgian Andre 3000 (of OutKast legend) abound; they're one-dimensional, but it's fair to acknowledge that Raury is attuned to a similarly styled wavelength. He's got the goods — a rock star presence and an innate fearlessless that manifests itself as an easygoing command of an audience.
His body of work to date consists of two full-length releases, the rootsy yet jagged Indigo Child and the aggressively sincere sophomore outing, All We Need. Both feature the Georgia-raised Raury as a young artist blending disparate soul, rock and hip-hop elements within a post-millennium context, and both overextend, but they're solid efforts that show the potential for true greatness, serving as a foundation for a classic album that is definitely in him. (All I Need just misses the mark on "tour de force" status.)
On stage, he percolates with positivity and excels at being eclectic. He connected easily with the crowd, telling us we were the unofficial fifth member of his four-piece ensemble (including percussion, bass, guitar) and exclaiming that "Tonight is already legendary" at one point and offering philosophical tidbits like "The music that you listen to is like the food that you eat."
The performance made his banter seem justified. "Forbidden Knowledge," off All I Need, kicked things off, but it was "Devil's Whisper" that truly got things going, as he walked the line between hip-hop and R&B, his vocals tinged with a folksy, rock-minded tone.
"CPU," "Revolution" and "Crystal Express" threaten to overwhelm the venue's sound system with their force, while the weighty "Trap Tears," a crowd favourite, provided the set's highlight.
With an encore consisting of not one but two successful crowd surfing incidents, Raury proved he's one of the leaders of the new school as he shut down the evening.