Jon Bellion – Live @ The Powerstation, Auckland 2019
Auckland was spoiled for choice this weekend. A toss-up between Paul Hewson & the boys, (U2 to you and me) or the mega-talented Canadian darling of Pop, Shawn Mendes. But it appears the gig gods left the best for last. Enter Jon Bellion, a relatively unknown Rapper/Singer compared to the forementioned stalwarts, left an indelible mark on Auckland last night. Albeit playing in a smaller venue, after last night, he will definitely be in hot contention to play a bigger show next time he’s in town – mark my words.
WORDS BY WAL REID | PHOTOS BY CHRIS MORGAN
New York-raised rapper, singer, songwriter and producer Jon Bellion is the kind of person you just can’t help but hate. Not because of his effervescent personality, his polished finesse, or impressive Rap performance (he also wrote the chorus to Eminem’s hit song The Monster & co-wrote Jason Derulo’s Trumpets hit) Jon Bellion is so damn talented it sickens me to my core.
Peeling off songs from his recent album Glory Sound Prep, Bellion and his (damn talented) band wasted no time getting their groove on. JT and Let’s Begin massaged the audience, while The Internet and Couple’s Retreat were treated with a full audience sing-a-long as Bellion & band tore shreds out of the playlist.
The energy emitting from the stage had a dire effect on the crowd. It was like being at an EPL game, with the band competing with the furore of the audience. Last time I witnessed this level of liveliness was at $uicideboy$ – amazing.
B Keys & Travis Mendes
Fulfilling his earlier promise to return to these Shores, the sold-out crowd of Kiwi fans were in full vocal force. He darted frenetically across the stage in his shorty white shorts, sneakers and tee, adorned by various necklaces, his mohawk coiffure adding a sartorial elegance.
He had the energetic gait of a manic Richard Simmons, rushing off to play the keys, DJ samples or play percussion behind his keyboard.
Bellion is what I would term ‘underground’ and probably is yet to break through to mainstream success. He has built a remarkable following by sharing his music directly with listeners and to date, now boasts over half a billion streams worldwide.
First getting his start with a series of mixtapes featuring his own original songs – all recorded in his parents’ basement, Bellion managed to give away more than 200,000 free downloads, subsequently building him a huge fanbase.
Blu and Cautionary Tales sounded way heavier live than their recorded relatives, while Guillotine and Woke The Fuck Up reset the crowd, especially on the latter, as Bellion and ever-present musical cohort Travis Mendes took their place at the front of the stage to conduct a phone torch led vigil. He also talked about his heroes Rage Against the Machine & Dave Matthews Band, and after seeing DMB play, adding that they would change the versions of the songs every night, which he has now adopted into his set performing live with jamming.
After witnessing U2 and Shawn Mendes in concert, my money is on this guy. The only place open late last night was either Greenlane Countdown or The Powersation, glad I had enough milk for the morning, as It was the most energetic show I have witnessed.