Live Report Exclusive

Vicke Blanka at Adelaide Hall, Toronto

11/03/2024 2024-03-11 19:00:00 JaME Author: Christine Photographer: Ken Tran

Vicke Blanka at Adelaide Hall, Toronto

An impressive showcase of both Vicke Blanka’s versatility as an artist and his earnest desire to connect with fans around the world.


© Ken Tran
Singer-songwriter Vicke Blanka’s first-ever show in Toronto happened to land on the day a snowstorm blanketed the city in white. While the snow had stopped by the time the show started at 8:00pm, the bite of winter was definitely still in the air.

Adelaide Hall is a rather intimate venue, with a fairly small stage that is quite close to the crowd, and even without a backing band it seemed almost cramped up there with all of the equipment Vicke would be operating by himself. The stage was divided into three sections, with a DJ set at the left, a microphone and guitar in the centre and a keyboard at the right. Dressed in a sporty-looking outfit with a white cap, he kicked off the show looking almost like a DJ, launching into the danceable track Soten No Vampire. It was an effective choice, getting the audience’s hands up in the air right off the bat. His funky track Shekebon! continued the upbeat, playful tone, but it also saw Vicke flex his impressive falsetto vocals.

After grabbing his guitar and fixing a sound issue, Vicke mentioned this was his first trip to Toronto and stated that it was very memorable for him, thanking everyone earnestly for coming. Then came one of the big draws of the evening, Black Rover, one of his two popular theme songs for the anime series “Black Clover”. The moody rock track got the crowd singing along and filming with their phones, once again displaying Vicke’s impressive falsetto.

Riding high on the energy from the audience, Vicke was bouncing around after the track and took a moment to drink some well-earned water. He explained a bit more about why Toronto was such a significant city to him then, noting that his sister studied there so it was moving to him to be able to stand on stage as an artist in the same place. He warned fans that he might get busy handling the instruments from then on, but asked everyone to continue cheering for him even if he wasn't able to interact as much.

He took a seat at the keyboard on the right side of the stage then, introducing his debut song Slave of Love. The upbeat and theatrical song was followed by the first major crowd participation moment of the night, when Vicke taught the crowd to do the call-and-response “A-ha!” for the chorus of Want You Back. It was a smart pick, given the large percentage of English lyrics and the playful tone of the track, and the crowd gladly sang along despite many people in the crowd likely hearing the song for the first time that night.

Vicke seemed touched by the crowd's eager participation, saying many times that he loved the audience’s atmosphere and passion. While he was fiddling with the DJ set on the left side of the stage to prepare for the next song, he darted back to the mic at centre stage several times to repeat “I love it!”, making the fans laugh. Then, he announced it was time for the electronic portion of the show, asking “Are you ready to dance?”

He kicked it off with the dark Death Dance, which brought a sinister edge but got the crowd riled up. FATE continued this darker tone, broken up with bird sound effects. Sad In Saudi Arabia brought an exotic Latin-esque vibe, with a more melancholy tone. Stray Cat fit right into the dark vibe but brought the mood back up with a funkier sound.

Interestingly, when fans yelled out Japanese words like “kakkoii" Vicke seemed eager to steer the conversation back to English, stating that while some fans are trying to learn Japanese he wants to learn English. It was a bit surprising to hear, as he handled all of the MC segments of the night completely in fluent-sounding English. He snuck in a plug for his personal YouTube channel “Vicke Plays” then, mentioning that he is a “crazy gamer” who used to stream games like "Fortnite" and "League of Legends" while speaking Japanese. He noted that he’s reconsidered that and wants to try streaming speaking only English going forward to improve his grasp of the language. He asked fans to subscribe to his gaming channel, noting that they will be able to connect in the future during his live streams, and pointed to a number of them who announced they had, exclaiming “You’re my man! And you’re my man! And you’re my man!” which drew lots of laughter.

After performing primarily upbeat and danceable tracks for most of the set, Vicke announced it was time to mix things up with some mellower songs. He started off with Bitter, standing at centre stage, and then took a seat at the keyboard for WALK. The audience listened almost silently to the emotional ballad, but immediately erupted into cheers once it was finished. This was also true for his "Fruits Basket" theme song Lucky Ending.

Following these emotional tracks, Vicke spoke to the crowd again, mentioning that he doesn’t often talk about personal matters but that he wanted to explain a bit more about why Toronto was so important to him. He explained that his mother passed away four years ago, and as he would often show the music he created to her, he felt he had lost his purpose for a while. He decided to aim to become a “proud brother” to his sister instead, so to perform in the city his sister had been studying was an important memory. “This day is more precious than you can imagine.” He promised not to forget it, and that he will come back, possibly even as soon as next winter, which was met with enthusiastic cheers.

“Are you ready for the last three songs?” He then launched into the dark and mysterious Snake, which was warmly received with plenty of dancing and arms up in the air. Following that song, Vicke noted that the battery was low on his ear monitor, so he announced he would be going without it from that point on, following the crowd’s movements for the beat. Ca Va? gave the fans a chance to prove themselves. A fitting choice for a Canadian performance, the song’s French call and response of “Ca va?” and “Bien” was easy for even those unacquainted with his music to follow.

Then came the song most of the anime fans in the audience had clearly been waiting for, his hit “Black Clover” theme song Black Catcher. The audience was full of phones recording and excited singing during the aggressive rock song.

After basking in the crowd’s cheers for a moment, Vicke left the stage. However, with immediate calls for an encore it didn’t take long for him to return. Vicke turned to the audience for help, asking them for suggestions for a single song to sing. Suggestions ranged from Shekebon!, which was met with a confused “I already did it!”, Ulala, which he stated he didn’t have the instruments for, and, puzzlingly, YOASOBI’s Idol, which he stated he also didn’t have the instrumental for, for obvious reasons. When someone called for Luca, he suddenly sang a portion of the song acapella and said “Can I go now?”, giving a mock-exasperated sigh and saying “I’m gonna drink water with ice cubes!” when the fans were still eager for more.

Eventually, he narrowed the choices down to Winter Beat and a second performance of Black Catcher, asking the crowd to choose one. When the very eager crowd cried out for both, he eventually agreed. Winter Beat was an upbeat piano-based song that was a fitting choice for the snow-covered evening, while the second round of Black Catcher featured much more audience interaction than the first, with Vicke encouraging the crowd fill in a number of the lines and whipping everyone into a frenzy for the final “We can catch the game”.

Throughout this show, fans were exposed to many different sides of Vicke Blanka, from his eclectic music and polished professionalism to his warm, likeable onstage persona. This concert was a great showcase of not just his playful, open-minded approach to music, but his earnest desire to connect with people around the world.

Set list

01. Soten No Vampire
02. Shekebon!
03. Black Rover
04. Slave of Love
05. Want You Back
06. Death Dance
07. FATE
08. Sad In Saudi Arabia
09. Stray Cat
10. Bitter
11. WALK
12. Lucky Ending
13. Snake
14. Ca Va?
15. Black Catcher

Encore

16. Winter Beat
17. Black Catcher

Vicke Blanka's latest EP Worldfly is out on digital platforms worldwide now. Links to download and stream the EP are available here.

He will also release a live DVD and Blu-ray titled Vicke Blanka presents RAINBOW ROAD - Sho -documenting his performance at TOKYO DOME CITY HALL from December 28th last year on March 27th. Footage of Soten No Vampire from this release can be viewed below.

 Download or stream "Worldfly"
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Date Event Location
  
15/02/20242024-02-15
Concert
Vicke Blanka
Adelaide Hall
Toronto
Canada

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