“I’m on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain’t always gonna be gold,” sang an energetic Kid Cudi, aka Scott Mescudi, to a receptive Air Canada Centre crowd on Thursday night. In an outfit comparable to a high-tech Japanese robot, his happiness seemed to reverberate throughout the building, and while Cudi took the stage solo, that positivity proved strong enough to permeate the young crowd.
A Canadian stop on his North American “Cud Life Tour”, Cudi’s multi-coloured, laser-lit set balanced well with tracks off his latest album, Inducid, and past mega-hits from his 2009 album Man on the Moon: The End of Day. Taking the time to share his appreciation for all of his fans’ support, Cudi put on an intimate show (despite the venue’s size) that shed a more human light on his futuristic hip-hop/electronic-rock persona. Highlights included “Mojo So Dope”, “Soundtrack 2 My Life”, and, of course, the aforementioned “Pursuit of Happiness” (all tracks from Man on the Moon), which he wisely placed to create lasting memories of a killer sing-along.
When it was all said and done, Cudi provided an entertaining performance that, while full-hearted, felt a little disconnected in a crowd that was just itching to hear their favourites from his older collection. Not that he seemed to care judging by his energy and exuberance.
Opening for Cudi was Big Sean (who also attended Toronto’s OVO Fest in August), a Def Jam artist that is an avid collaborator with many of hip-hops heavyweights. Despite performing for a thin crowd, Sean poured himself into his set that included songs without their original collaborative partners (Weezy, Young Jeezy, for example) and managed to pull it together right into tracks off his latest album Hall of Fame. A good warm-up for Cudi.