What an energetic show! There are no other words to describe Rilès’ performance at MTelus as it literally took my breath away, and I surely wasn’t the only one feeling this way that night. The venue was fully packed for a show his fans won’t forget anytime soon.
The evening started at 8PM sharp with an opening act from DJ Wasseem, that warmed everyone up with samples of Sean Paul, Drake, Lil Wayne and other famous artists that I probably don’t know about as it’s not really my scene (sorry everyone, my heart belongs to pop punk!). Nevertheless, DJ Wasseem was a great warm-up act to get the crowd ready for the rest of the night. He didn’t hesitate to show off his dance moves (that we saw a lot of during Rilès’ performance) to win the crowd’s heart.
Right after this brief opening act, the crowd was fully ready to welcome Rilès for his first performance in Montreal. What a long way from home for the young French-Algerian artist who, for those who don’t know it, started writing, recording, mixing, and producing beats and raps in his bedroom in 2014 and gained national notoriety after releasing a song a week every Sunday for an entire year in 2016 (and helped out by French YouTuber Seb la Frite to boost his reach).
Rilès started tonight’s The Tiger Tour show with the song “I’ll be Back”, that he released back in June 2018 to announce that he’s working on his debut album that should hopefully be released shortly. I did not expect so much energy and such a dynamic show from the start. Not gonna lie, his performance blew me away in a matter of seconds, and he kept up the pace until the end! “U Better Listen (My Own)” was next and the fans gladly were all ears and obeyed. Rilès then delighted the crowd with “Should I”, which lyrics his fans were singing while waiting for him after DJ Wasseem was done performing, even though they may shock a few (“On your p***y Imma go Super Sayan.. Sayan).
No matter which song he would perform, from “Remind Me” to “Lost”, or even “Away”, the crowd seemed to know all the lyrics by heart, which is surprising for an artist that technically only released one EP (but the 1M monthly listeners on Spotify probably helps!). Rilès also performed “Marijuana”, the
Rilès was not only rapping his songs out there but was also dancing with his fellow dancers (including DJ Wasseem) which I find quite impressive when you know the flow he has (that’s already fast enough as it is without having to dance at the same time). He even moonwalked a few times while singing throughout his performance, so mad respect to him! With other songs like “Rebeus in Oran” (I think?) and “Pesetas”, Rilès proved that no matter where you come from, if you work hard, apply yourself and really believe in your dreams, you’ll make things work, from your bedroom to the MTelus stage. He highly impresses me as an artist and really deserved to have a sold-out show thousands of miles away from his hometown (which is, fun fact, located a few miles away from mine). Rilès also proved that he’s a showman, stopping midway through the song and throwing himself into the crowd while rapping, quite impressive! He also showcased more of his talents later on as he beatboxed to present his dancers.
Finishing his performance with none other than “Thank God”, “Brothers” and a song which name I, unfortunately can’t remember, Rilès delivered much more than anyone was asking for, and proved us he’s worthy of all the love he’s been getting overseas. I am, like everyone else who was at MTelus probably is, looking forward to his first album and to having the pleasure of seeing him live again. Rilès surely has a long and successful career ahead of him.
Review – Maxime le Huidoux
Photos – Stefan Dina