British band Lawson makes its first visit to Toronto

On Saturday, February 3 I caught British boy band Lawson’s first concert in Toronto at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club. The four-piece pop-band made their way across the pond for a short and sweet North American tour, playing just three shows including LA and New York. There was a great turnout and a lot of “geese” (the term their die-hard fans have deemed themselves) who showed up, ready to scream, dance and cheer! The day before on Friday I was fortunate enough to interview the swoon worthy boys, who I admit, I could’ve listened to talk all day (I’ve got a weakness for British accents). So look out for that interview soon!

In the meantime here is the concert review I wrote for, some great shots I was able to capture from the concert as well as two awesome videos:

Lawson leaves a lasting impression after first North American tour
By Naomi Leanage

North America has been welcoming the British invasion with open arms, so it was no surprise that the Virgin Mobile Mod Club was packed on Saturday, February 2 for Lawson’s first concert in Toronto.

After two sold out shows in LA and New York, the four-piece pop-rock band was ready to bring it all for the final show of their mini North American tour. Andy, Adam, Joel and Ryan walked onto the stage to be greeted by deafening screams.

There were no fancy outfits, or over the top lights—Lawson was simply equipped with their musical instruments and powerful vocals.

Playing fan favourites like “Learn To Love Again” and “When She Was Mine” they demonstrated just how talented they are.

Together the four boys owned stage, and not one member was left overshadowed. Though Andy’s vocals were the focus of many songs, the spotlight turned to his band members at all the right moments, giving Joel and Ryan the chance to show off stellar guitar riffs and Adam an impressive drum solo. These electric instrumentals proved that Lawson is not another pop boy band from across the pond.

The audience was treated to covers of Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team” and Adele’s “Hometown Glory”, as the band added their own flare to the usually slow and acoustic tracks. Hands flew in the air and screams took over the building when Lawson covered Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger”, playfully changing up the lyrics when appropriate to “I swear I won’t behave”, “But Toronto I don’t give a shit” and “Moves Like Lawson”.

Lawson was all about interacting with the audience, encouraging them to dance, clap and even pointing the microphone towards a few lucky audience members for them to sing a verse. The band even made the kind gesture to sing “Happy Birthday” with the audience to one lucky member who was celebrating theirs that night.

It wasn’t only the audience having fun, but the band as well, whose smiles hardly left their faces. It was clear that all four members were not only appreciative but in awe of this show they shared with Toronto fans.

“It means the world to come all the way from London to here, and we promise to come back, we love it here!” Andy said.

Repeatedly saying that this was one of their best gigs ever, the boys even took to twitter to post this claim for their thousands of followers all over the world.

After bidding farewell, the lights dimmed down and the band walked off, much to the dismay of the audience. But the crowd wasn’t done with Lawson and screamed for more chanting the band’s name over and over again until the boys finally reemerged onstage for an encore of two songs, beginning with “Make It Happen”.

Closing a show that left many girls breathless after screaming, chanting and singing along to “Standing in the Dark”, Lawson reminded the audience that beyond their good looks and adorable accents, they really know how to rock.







Highlights of the night:
The band covering Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team”! *swoons*

Just when you thought it couldn’t get better, they also cover Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger”!

The Big Jingle

Thanks to AstroKik I was able to attend MuchMusic’s The Big Jingle for free and with great seats! (Section 118 holla).

My sister’s camera didn’t do its duty well this time (I’m blaming it on the lighting and fog effects), so for a rare night I saw a concert through my own eyes instead of a camera screen. I was able to fully enjoy the concert, dance around (during breaks they hosted dance parties), scream as loud as I can and of course swoon over the good looking performers.

It was a great concert and awesome that Canada had a Jingle themed concert to call their own this year.

Below are some of the decent pictures I did capture for your viewing pleasure:

Shawn Desman had the crowd singing “Dum Da Dum”:

Sky Blu party rocked solo but confirmed that LMFAO is reunited and back together (…Yeah, I didn’t know they were separated to begin with).IMG_6322

Rising Texan popstar Austin Mahone made his first trip to Canada a big one.IMG_6323


While Cody Simpson took the stage for the second night in a row after making a surprise guest appearance at Bieber’s show the night before.IMG_6373

Carly Rae Jepsen was greeted by tons of “Call Me Maybe” signs.IMG_6406

Simple Plan brought the nostalgia playing old hits along with their new songs. It also rained giant beach balls during “Summer Paradise” (which was awesome).IMG_6426

And the British band everyone was waiting for closed the show. The Wanted! IMG_6438




This is the third time I’ve seen them live, and if there’s one thing you learn about the five piece boyband, is that they are extremely interactive with their fans. Always pointing and making eye contact with fans during their performance. But no one would have expected this:IMG_6458Yup, that’s a sea of fan girls swarming the boys who are barely identifiable in the mob. It started off with one girl being pulled onto the catwalk to dance with the band, only to have more pulled onstage, only to have everyone on the floor do all that they can to climb on themselves. The Wanted actually embraced this and enjoyed being swarmed, unlike other performers who, let’s admit, would fear for their safety and get security in there asap.

Overall it was a great experience, can’t wait for next year! Hopefully there IS a next year.



Wearing overalls to the Justin Bieber concert

I was fortunate enough to grab floor seats for Justin Bieber’s sold out Believe tour stop in Toronto. I’m not qualified to be called a Belieber, but his tunes are catchy and his face is…hot! Nonetheless I was super excited to attend. And Justin’s tweets the day before like:

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These tweets had me even more excited. What could the surprises be?! Justin, why are you doing this to me?! Were the thoughts floating through my head.

Now as with every concert, one of my biggest concerns was what to wear. I’d usually opt for a casually chic outfit, but this time an igenious idea popped into my head. One, that I’m surprised I actually went through with.

And that’s how it started, and how I ended up at the Justin Bieber concert dressed like this:


For those who live under a rock here’s the background to story as to why in the world I would decide to bring back an unflattering 90s fashion style that made me resemble the likes of Mary-Kate and Ashley in “It Takes Two”:

I’m not one for pulling off stunts like this but the amount of likes and applauding comments on facebook, twitter and instagram that I received when posting my pic before I left were reassuring.


And luckily I wasn’t dressed like this alone, I invited my friend Alex and her sister Kristina to join in. We arrived at the venue to be stared at like no tomorrow. I guess you could say we experience what it’s like to be a mega celebrity. Everywhere we walked throughout the Air Canada Centre heads turned, eyes glared, and lots of “omg I love your overalls!” “so creative” compliments came our way.

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After the abundance of compliments and laughs we got, I’m definitely proud of my idea, and proud of the fact that we all pulled through with it! Thank goodness for Value Village and the people who donated their overalls to them!

As for the concert, Bieber definitely knows how to put on a show! With such great theatrics and props, not to mention a laser light show and fireworks, it was definitely one of the most entertaining concerts I’ve been to! Though from section B6 of the floor, you couldn’t see much, I have my sister’s glorious camera to thank for the amazing photos I captured:

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My Ed Sheeran filled day: photo shoot and concert

It’s my last day as a teenager, and what better way to spend it than with one of the most popular, most talented singer-songwriter’s of our generation?

Thanks to Faze Magazine and my sister’s strong will to get concert tickets, I was able to do just that.

My day started off with a trip to the Eaton Centre with my sister, before Faze’s cover shoot with Ed, which we were fortunate enough to attend! While wasting time, aimlessly walking around and window shopping like the broke college students we both are, I decided to go on a search for the perfect present for Ed. After entering many stores, leaving empty handed and having a long debate with myself over whether to buy him that glass from Urban Outfitters that says Canada with a weed plant on it or not…I finally walked into Bluenotes and layed eyes on the perfect gift: a red graphic t-shirt with the words “The Eh Team” printed on it along with a maple leaf. Couldn’t have gotten better than that. So of course I bought the shirt and another Canada tee, went to Indigo to find a card (ended up buying one with a cat in hipster glasses), and was off to the photo shoot!

The shoot was held inside Stylexchange, there was photographer who set up, and the Faze team ready and waiting. Soon Ed came in (late, but better than never) with his posse. Though our stylist had some great outfits picked out, Ed preferred to keep his shoes and pants on, choosing to only wear the selected tops (a plaid button up shirt, and a black jacket). He rocked them both well for the camera. He was so shy, and you could see how laid back he is! After the photo shoot, he sat down to do an interview for Faze TV. He answered some questions like what he was like in Grade 8, Why he named his album + (“Well I wouldn’t have wanted to name it album or greatest hits”), what his next album may be called (“how about – “), and what his tattoos meant (“I got a maple leaf because I love Canada). He was actually the funniest and most sarcastic guy!

Then we gave Ed his parting gifts (after grabbing pictures with him and getting autographs of course) Faze gave him the plaid shirt he wore during some of the shoot, which he loved so much he didn’t take it off and sported it during his interview on MuchMusic’s New.Music.Live later that evening. Stylexchange gave him the black jacket, and my sister gave him a stuffed TY beanie baby penguin. Which he absolutely adored. As soon as he got it, the biggest smile came on his face, and he immediately showed it to his whole management team, he then cuddled it and gave my sister the biggest hug. It was my turn to give him my two shirts. As soon as he took out the “Eh Team” shirt, he laughed. I said, “You don’t have it already do you? I feel like a fan would’ve already given it to you!”. He smiled and said, “No, I’m going to wear it tonight!” in that awesome British accent. Him and his team then proceeded to exit the store and mall through the secretive and hidden back exits. (So there was no way any fans would have been able to spot him in the mall :( Sorry!)

(Note: pictures of Ed from the photo shoot will be posted here, after the issue is published!)

After filling our groaning stomachs with a delish poutine from New York Fries, and sitting in the food court waiting for “itis” to disappear we finally headed out to our next Ed-destination: Echo Beach at the Molson Flats. We arrived at the venue for approx. 5pm to be greeted by a huge (and when I say huge, I mean hundreds and hundreds of fans) line. Luckily, my friend’s sister had been there since 11 a.m. so we joined her. (Now before you start snapping on how it’s unfair to bud the line, keep in mind that so many other girls were doing the same thing, and that eventually we left the line anyways). Doors opened at 7PM and it was like a mob of crazy shoppers waiting outside of Walmart on Black Friday/Boxing Day! Crazy! Eventually we got inside, and while my sister braved the mosh pit that is the General Admission area, I went straight to VIP (a higher leveled unobstructed view).

Passenger opened up the show with his sweet melodic tunes and that unique voice of his.

The moment Ed walked on stage, I couldn’t help but scream, not just because of my excitement for the concert to start but because he was wearing the shirt I gave him! He kept to his word!

He told the audience that this was his largest show in North America to date, which of course resulted in deafening screams. And the thing I love about Ed, is that he doesn’t like those screams. Many times throughout the concert he would tell the audience to “shush” and “be quiet” for some of his songs, which allowed you to concentrate and hear just his sweet sweet voice. Instead, he encouraged the audience to be his gospel choir (either repeating lyrics after him, or taking control and singing a chorus while he smiled and listened). It was an extremely interactive concert, which made the experience that much better.

Someone in the audience who was lucky enough to be in the front screamed that it was their birthday, so Ed sang “Happy Birthday” to the crowd and then proceeded to wish anyone else who was celebrating a birthday a happy one too. It was two hours until my official birthday, so I definitely included myself. Um, best birthday present ever?

Then just as Ed’s buddies Snow Patrol brought him back on stage earlier this year when Ed was opening for them, he did the same for his own opening act and brought back Passenger to sing a lovely duet together.

After an 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours of a set, all good things came to an end as Ed closed the show and said goodbye–for now. Because apparently he’ll back early next year!

Of course I couldn’t leave without getting merch so I braved the crowd in front of the merchandise tents and managed to get a tour shirt ($35) and rubber wristband ($10). When I left the venue there were random people selling their own shirts, so I bought the cute black paw print one for $10 as well. The more Ed Sheeran swag, the better!

I’ll leave you off with this video of Ed singing live during the concert:

– @Naomi_ML