Smino Brings his Hoopti Tour to L’Astral

On May 14, 2019 Smino brought his Hoopti tour to Montreal, performing to a full house a L’Astral. This was one of the last stops of the 30-date trek, but you couldn’t tell from the amount of energy Smino and his band brought with them.

If you’ve ever listened to Smino, the one thing you can say about his music is that it is hard to categories. Yes, the St-Louis native is very much a rapper, but his constant blend of signing, rapping, and his unique taste in production makes it difficult for anyone to describe his sound in a nutshell. Last night’s show proved that not being in a box has its advantages. I had no idea what to expect from his live set. I am aware of how complex the production is on his latest LP NOIR, yet the last thing I was expecting was a live band. Smino brought along a talented group of instrumentalists who seemed to be enjoy the music just as much as the crowd. The synergy was evident between the group and Smino. Damn near 30 shows can either make or break a team. It seems that Smino, his DJ/Hypeman, and the band found their pocket like the Golden State Warriors. Smino also brought along a very talented vocalist who sang background vocals. She added a lot the show and started off with one of the best mic checks I’ve seen in a while.

To call this show a “rap” show would be a disservice. The vibes went from reggae, to jazz, funk, and even a hint of classical. Sometimes these genre switches would all happen in the same song. Smino also had great crowd control. At one point in the show he was able to get the whole venue to be quiet on command, and moments later have them turning up to his bangers.

The one flaw of the show was how dark the venue was. Smino pointed out several times how this was the darkest room he ever performed in; my Nikon shots can attest to that.  

Smino’s Montreal leg of the tour gave his fans what they wanted. He performed all his best songs, a few classics, and had the band to back him up.

You can catch Smino’s tour in both Toronto and Detroit: the last two stops of the Hoopti tour.

Akeem Johnson Pierre is the host of The Kitchen, the new home of rap and RnB, every Wednesday at 9:00 p.m.