There was no better way to begin Luminato, a week long celebration of Toronto’s arts, culture and diversity, than with a free K’naan concert in the park. The Somalian-Canadian rapper embodies everything that is great about Canada from his rich heritage, story, drive and love of life. Hundreds joined K’Naan tonight to kick off Luminato Festival and sing songs in the warm Summer air.
K’Naan’s brand of relaxed hip-hop is perfect for an open air free concert because it appeals to all. The crowd was as diverse as the city with all ages, races and types joining together for this show. Parents carried their little ones, elderly couples relaxed on the grass and youth waved their arms and danced wildly as he played songs from his albums including the upcoming highly anticipated new album to be released later this summer.
K’Naan mixed it up giving fans old and new something to look forward to. He stuck mainly to newer music from his popular album Troubadour with songs that pleased the crowd including “Fatima”, “If Rap Gets Jealous”, and “Bang Bang.” Even if you weren’t a big K’Naan fan before he hit the stage his energy is infectious. He gives off such a good vibe from the stage letting you know that it is ok to just be yourself and have a good time.
The concert went from good to great when K’Naan surprised the crowd with a very special guest. Nelly Furtado joined him onstage to sing their new hit song “Is Anybody Out There” much to the delight of the crowd. Nelly’s accompaniment seemed to give K’Naan an even bigger boost of energy and after that it was all up hill.
His charm through improvising little songs and dancing wildly around the stage had everyone smiling. By the time he return for his encore of “T.I.A.” he was at maximum energy. He even found the courage to sing a cover of Neil Young’s “Heart Of Gold” even though he didn’t know all of the words. The very Canadian crowd helped him out in the tricky spots.
It wasn’t over there though. He couldn’t leave without giving the crowd what they wanted. It ended in a huge singalong for his hit “Wavin’ Flag.” Everyone no matte their age sang along at the top of their lungs. You couldn’t help, but feel good inside. It was a great start to a festival that embraces everything.
[Photo via @suesthegirl]
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