Alessia Cara rolled into Caesars Windsor this week (May 15) to a packed house with nothing to prove to anyone in that audience. The Grammy-Award winning 22-year-old Brampton singer-songwriter is at the peak of her game and is just at the beginning of The Pains of Growing North American Tour – the Windsor show was only the fourth date on the Canadian stretch.
Her show was centered around a stage that looked like a comfy apartment, complete with a few lamps, a couch, dressers and a bed. There was even a rotary phone sitting on a side table by the couch. She looked at ease as the show began with her sitting on the couch.
Opening with Growing Pains from her latest album and quickly jumping into her hit Wild Things, the level of talent in this young lady is undeniable. Her voice was impeccable, her stage presence was mesmerizing and she had more energy than most performers her age – bouncing across the stage and swaying around with what seemed like a never-ending vigor.
Alessia was dressed in a baggy blue suit, t-shirt and runners that allowed her long curly hair to stand out as she bopped about. Surprisingly, she only had a mini three-piece-band with her, but the sound was full and near perfect. She also performed a short solo acoustic set of newer songs in the middle of the show, which was enhanced by a great version of Wherever I Live from The Pains of Growing album.
Along with a fun cover of No Doubt’s Underneath It All, she had the audience singing, dancing and jumping with her hits How Far I’ll Go from the Moana soundtrack and Stay, her 2017 powerhouse track recorded with Zedd. The cell phone lights tore up the place when burst out with her signature song Scars to Your Beautiful from her 2015 debut Know-It-All.
Although she had nothing to prove with this show, Alessia left no doubt about her aptitude as a performer, her skills as a vocalist and her innate ability to become a role model to thousands of young girls. Her power of positivity was honest and real, almost like a tangible version of the Girl Power vibe the Spice Girls tried to capture in the early 2000s.
Opener Ryland James was a real shocker. The good-looking young man has vocal chops that could rival veteran crooners in a showdown of skill should someone wish to take the challenge. His musical style was slick and smooth and his voice was uncharacteristically seasoned for such a young man.
James is still new to the scene, but his songs Good to You and Say Goodbye have gained traction and his performance was all about the voice and words. The articulation of his singing was quite captivating. Watch for this young man in the future.
All photos by Dan Savoie