Review: Mckenna Reubens
Photos and interview: Alexis Dayfoot
One bad night? More like one great night! An absolutely amazing way to kick off Spring Break, seeing Hayley Kiyoko perform live at the Rio Theatre. Kiyoko had come to Vancouver only a mere handful of times before, both were glad that they could snag a ticket for her stellar performance.
The concert’s opening act was Flor, an indie band originating from Oregon and currently based out of LA. To say they were a perfect pair to Kiyoko would be an understatement. A new experience for Mckenna, who had never listened to any of their music before, their style sparked an immediate interest. (Guess who now has a new favourite EP?) We suggest that anyone study up on Flor for themselves, and check out their EP Sounds as well as their recent cover of Adele’s Send My Love which they have been performing on the One Bad Night Tour.
From the top balcony view it was apparent right off the bat just how comfortable she was performing. Her anecdotes between songs made everyone else feel just as carefree. One of the first things Kiyoko said to her audience was that life’s worries and problems were to be left at the door and that her concert space was one of acceptance, love, and no judgement. The One Bad Night Tour was to be used as a safe space, a space that condoned her view of paradise.
With a set of 10 songs Kiyoko of course opened with One Bad Night, a fan favourite and one many praise for its cinematographic music video and display of acceptance and compassion. Kiyoko herself played along to the songs beat with her own electric drum kit. It’s safe to say that any time an artist jams out on stage along with their own song, it’ll be a good show. That extensive dance background of hers definitely did not go to waste. Speaking of beat though, can we just say that her drummer was the absolute bomb? A portion of their kit lit up when it was hit, and considering the fact that the drummer was going all out in almost all the songs, the mini light show was so impressive.
Many moments throughout her set were precious, starting off with fans throwing a Canadian flag on stage, quoting one of the songs off her first EP, “You’re sweet as Maple”. Kiyoko happily showed off the flag to the crowd, sharing that her mother was Canadian, from Montreal and she was happy to hold dual citizenship.
The kicker for the show came at the very end. She closed with her song Girls Like Girls, which has a music video with a whopping 61 million views on YouTube and over a million likes. Before the doors opened to the theatre, a group of people who run an Instagram account, called the MomJeansGang gave out hand cut paper hearts to those in line. The hearts praised love and acceptance and written on every one was the instruction to hold it up and shine a phone’s flashlight through during that Girls Like Girls. The effect it had was reminiscent of dozens of fairy lights swaying back and forth to the rhythm. That moment, watching the crowd sway, singing along with Kiyoko “Girls like girls like boys do, nothing new” left us with the heartwarming feeling of a group promoting love and friendship. It was a fitting end to a show meant to foster acceptance. Kiyoko herself was moved, exclaiming to the crowd that they were going to make her cry. Early the next morning she even gave the group who was responsible a shoutout on Instagram.
Kiyoko’s One Bad Night tour will continue to spread its love and positivity until early June, with her stopping in a variety of spots across the US and one more time in Canada. Her EP’s Citrine and This Side of Paradise are available now for purchase on her website.
Listen to Alexis’ interview with Hayley below: