0 6 min 9 yrs

PND1

Wednesday, February 25th 8p.m. – The next in a line of artist to escalate Drake’s popular OVO sound imprint label made an appearance at Baltimore Soundstage. PartyNextDoor (PND) dropped his self-titled EP through OVO sound in July 2013. It featured the Drake-assisted single “Over Here,” PND has also collaborated with Drake on the album Nothing Was The Same for tracks “Come Thru,” and “Own It.” His second release PartyNextDoor Two saw the release of singles “Her Way” and “Recognize,” which also featured a cameo by Drake. PND was an opening act on the 2014 Drake vs. Lil Wayne Summer Tour and headlined his first ever-solo tour. PND Live returns in 2015 to embark a World Tour through 44 cities and a leg that includes Europe.

It’s easy to see how Drake and PND can work so well together. Drake has a niche for writing outstanding verses. So it’s natural a talented singer/songwriter such as PND would be the perfect accompaniment. PND is good at adding hooks. It’s been a good fit and has really propelled PND from the confines of his cozy Ontario, Canada home. To say he’s gone Hollywood is one thing but to take on a solo world tour not even two years after dropping your first EP is pretty remarkable.

The tour┬áhasn’t gone without incident. There were reports of gunfire taken at the PND tour bus while leaving Center Stage in Atlanta. Police have neither confirmed nor denied these reports but the evidence could clearly be seen on the side of the tour bus in the form of a large bullet hole. I’m sure the whole PND camp is over it. It just goes to show the type of nonsense you have to deal with out on the road.

Tonight’s concert was a completely different story; I didn’t sense any agitation of any kind. It was a very cool, chill atmosphere. People passing by would politely excuse themselves as they made their way back and forth from the bar. If you needed room to dance, people gave you your space. Nothing out of the ordinary, just an enjoyable R&B setting.

PND has been described as electronic dance music infused with R&B. I would go a little deeper to describe the EDM as new retro, particularly the intro to “Recognize.” It sounds like 80’s electronic synth. In the music video PND is sitting in front of old school arcade games, it’s like he’s hinting his sound source. A lot of his tracks use early electronics where the sources from the samples are analog. The Weeknd uses this same approach. It’s not completely what PND is about but it adds a psychedelic nostalgic twist to his sound. You can also hear psychedelic electronic sounds in songs like “Break From Toronto” where they mix in crowd noises with different sound densities. Kind of like what the song would sound like if you listened to it through a wall. PND’s instrumentals are more than just EDM; it’s more like trippy sound engineering. It goes beyond just dance music and PND’s production value is one of his biggest attributes.

PND’s set was all right; he didn’t perform “Break From Toronto,” which was a little disappointing. He did play some material from his new album PNDCOLOURS. He closed out with “Recognize,” which hit the spot, a chill song with a lot of bass energy. It was the highlight of the show. On stage there were graphics projecting silhouettes of pine trees and palm trees, sort of like a representation of Canada and America. His vocals projected well, it wasn’t muffled and there weren’t any broken notes. The pitch was good, he’s more of a soprano, and his range has a definite undertone present. He took his time getting on stage and took an untimely intermission but that’s okay, it didn’t really matter. It was a decent first performance in Baltimore. The Baltimore Soundstage has more of a club-like setting so it didn’t seem like a big deal but it was.

The sound in the club was tweaked nicely. It wasn’t deafeningly loud with too much bass, and you could still hold a conversation without yelling. I know that might sound weak but trust me your eardrums appreciate it. Although this was at heart an R&B concert and not supposes to be raucous, sometimes the inclusion of electronic music makes the dynamics louder than they should be. At this concert that wasn’t the case. Rest assured this was an interesting artist with very interesting sound techniques. It wasn’t super spectacular, but fun.

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