The North American tour made true on its “North” title with its first stop in Canada Sunday night at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, a venue directly on the shore of Lake Ontario. This is one of the few stops on the tour where you could dock your yacht next to the venue. To add colour to the stop, the Canadian National Exhibition (“The Ex”) was happening adjacent to the venue, with the requisite carnival rides lit up and doughnut burgers just outside the gates.
Outdoor amphitheaters are the go-to for summer tours in North America, and we were looking forward to seeing the 16,000 fans in the sold out venue. The lower part of the bowl is covered, which worked out well for fans there, as the skies opened up during the show, giving those with lawn tickets an unplanned shower. The sound is generally great in amphitheatres, and the Molson didn’t disappoint.
The VIP Nation package buyers chilled at their pre-show reception and swag raffle, which included guitar strings that Martin had used to play “Enjoy the Silence” on at the Atlantic City show as a grand prize — pretty happy winners there! The backstage area was relatively calm this night, as the band and crew relaxed along the water with the ducks swimming by.
From the opening notes of the intro and “Welcome to My World”, the Toronto audience was rabid. Martin performed “The Child Inside” and fan favourite “But Not Tonight.” The crowd ate it up, belting out every lyric so faithfully and so loudly, that Martin declared, “It’s like a musical!” The audience was fully mesmerized by Anton’s visuals, especially during numbers like current single, “Should Be Higher.”
Not only were all 32,000 arms swaying wildly during the “Never Let Me Down Again” ‘wheat wave’, but we’re pretty sure we caught a couple of security guards in the front waving too. That had to be sight for the people on the Ferris wheel across the way at “The Ex” to see.
Looking forward to another Canadian show in Montreal before swinging back south for the remaining shows in the U.S.