By: Benjamin Hargreaves
Just after 10 p.m. on Oct. 16, 2018, Toronto’s very own Always Never took the stage for the first time ever. Mark your calendars because I sense a rapid climb in popularity for the R&B duo.
With the crowd reciting the lyrics to their opening song, “Wylin’” from the first bar onward, Always Never had Mod Club mesmerized by their trebly crooning, and that’s the way it stayed for their nearly two-hour set.
For those who don’t want to feel completely out of the loop when this duo inevitably finds themselves at the forefront of Canada’s R&B scene, Always Never is a producer-singer duo from Toronto Ontario who, according to their website, only began making music together in 2015. With only an EP, LP and a handful of singles under their belt, singer Patrick Kirschner and producer Dean Guilbault have amassed millions of streams online including 5.6 million Spotify streams on “Wylin’” alone and they have even gained the attention of Khloe Kardashian.
It would have been impossible to tell that the rookies on stage were anything but professionals in their element. If it weren’t for the few times they admitted they couldn’t believe this was their first show, the less astute audience members would have been none the wiser.
Performing almost the entirety of their self-titled debut album, Always Never kept the tempo high and the spirits higher throughout their performance.
The duo opted for a live band in addition to the audio track, giving their performance a more intimate feel. With vertical fluorescent lights as a backdrop, Always Never gave a humble and entertaining performance any beginner artist would be proud of.
If I were to give attention to any faults in this debut performance it would be a criticism of the visuals or lack thereof. Screens throughout the Mod Club displayed nothing more than a looping logo for the duration of the performance. Some more creativity in this area could go a long way, something we know they're capable of after they dropped the visuals for Wylin’ last month.
A few days after the show the duo claimed on an Instagram post that they sold out the performance, but security stated after the show that the venue was at around half capacity at its peak. I have no doubt that their next at-home performance will see the venue full to the brim.
By mixing virtuosic vocals akin to The Weeknd and Justin Bieber, with melodic, bass-filled beats, the duo makes music that is very easy to listen to. And now that they have proven they can hold their own live, it’s only up from here for Dean and Patrick.