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Posts Tagged ‘Toni Watson’

Tones and I – First US Tour

Posted by xneverwherex on March 18, 2020

Tones and I is in town for her debut EP, The Kids Are Coming. A vocal advocate for the anti-bullying campaign, sadly she had to start off the set with an announcement. As a fight was breaking out, she immediately said “is there someone fighting in the audience? … This is all about love, a fun show.”  The singer, real name Toni Watson, has received death threats and relentless bullying.

Clad in a bright orange vest, red hat and white socks, she had a strong presence. Her energy was palpable and the fans were responsive. She opened the set with, “Happy”,  a piano-ballad that showcased her amazing raw talent. Never having had a vocal class, her tone was beautiful and her vocals were powerful and strong.

The night was a night of many firsts. Tones and I was very excited to be performing in San Francisco and listed a variety of reasons she loves it here. She quickly pointed out, “this is my first show in San Francisco, on my first tour.” Also included in this list of other firsts. San Francisco was the first city that started playing her signature track “Dance Monkey” on the radio and San Francisco was the first show to sell out.

Tones and I wasted no time with bringing a dance party to the venue. The floor was packed with a very sold-out show. But it didn’t seem to matter as everyone was there to have a great time. As she played, “Never Seen The Rain”, fans danced together. A catchy dance number, Tones and I worked the stage dancing across it from side to side. “Colourblind,” she performed in its original form. With some amazing looping, the song transformed into a deep-house summer banger. It felt like being in a packed club with some grinding and throbbing bass over the catchy dance beat.

Ever the story-teller, Tones and I told her story of busking every day on the streets of Byron Bay in Australia. She learned the valuable lesson of having to communicate with audiences and how fickle audiences are with leaving if a song doesn’t catch them. She performed covers on youtube and Chet Faker’s “Drop The Game” was her first to play and loop. Sounding eerily like Amy Winehouse with some scatting and rich vocals, this down-beat song was gorgeous.

There is an honesty to her performance that is rare to see. She opened herself up to the audience and let people into her world. On “You’re So Fucking Cool”, she engaged the audience in her story of going to a party with all these fabulous looking people in Los Angeles, yet no one talked to one another. So she went home to “netflix and chill” and ended up writing this song about the event. With hip-hop beats over laid-back beach-y keys, it is the epitome of cool factor.

“Johnny Run Away”, her first single, was written for her best friend who was at the show. Fans were singing along to every word and had their hands in the air. A bouncy, banger, the song is infectious fun. Alphaville’s “Forever Young” will now have a brand new life. Her rendition which is a combination of the slow and fast song, is raw and beautiful in the slow form. But, as she changes it into the faster parts, the song becomes filled with hand-claps and calypso beats. It’s contagious and you don’t want it to end.

Tones and I kept “Dance Monkey” until the near end. The song is a contagious ear-worm, filled with keyboard hooks. It was written while busking in Byron Bay, intending for it to be a fun song for fellow hostel-dwellers to dance to. And now, the song is breaking all kinds of records: triple-platinum in Australia, topped the  ARIA singles chart for most consecutive weeks, global chart topper in 16 countries and earned more than 350 million (and counting) streams worldwide. The song is even more ridiculously fun in person. Encouraging the packed club to dance with her, fans did not disappoint. It was a crowd sing along and as Tones and I laid down on the stage, fans followed suit and crouched down onto the floor. From there it turned into explosive energy with everyone jumping up together and dancing.

Her message of love shined throughout the night. It was only fitting for her to say, “if you’re ever going to fan over me, don’t bring anyone down ever.” This Australian is one to watch. Definitely don’t miss her live act at a small venue. Guarantee that her next stateside tour, she will be in a much larger venue.

Fellow Australians Lime Cordiale opened the set. Their music was an assortment of styles. On “Naturally” it brought the funk along with a laid-back surf sound. “Dirt Cheap”, a reggae-infused song with disco lights. “Up In The Air” is dance-y, with a 70s psychedelic rock-vibe and had some sweet melodies between the brothers Oli and Louis Leimbach.

The band brought the excitement and talked of their love of San Francisco and wanting to move to this city. They spoke of Tones and I: “what a good egg” on getting to tour with her. Lime Cordiale is a very fun band and can’t wait to see what they do next.

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