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88GLAM turns up the MOD Club: free water for everyone


Signed to The Weeknd’s XO label through Republic Records, 88GLAM have already left an imprint on Toronto. The duo’s first set of EPs, 88Glam: Reloaded and 88GLAM2, racked up a pretty high listener count in the millions and this love was visible at the live event last week at the MOD Club.

The line up to get into the venue was stretched up the street through the piles of snow, many of the fans opted out of outerwear, to, I dunno, save money on coat check perhaps, and were shivering in freezing temperatures perhaps only kept alive by anticipation.  

Typical to Toronto hip-hop show timing, 88GLAM did not hit the stage till after 10. The local openers got the attendees fired up with the Weeknd-themed beats. A group of nerdy-looking dudes, loudly singing along to every track, have joined forces with the girls behind them and begun what looked like their own video shoot with someone’s phone permanently projecting a flashlight onto the dancing circle. “What an interesting crowd,” pointed out a friend, as I looked around I realized he was right, no genre stereotyping here, everyone is welcome!

Halfway through their fairly short set, 88GLAM were joined on stage by NAV and the crowd went wild. Everyone who may have been sitting or leaning popped up on the next available bench to get a better view. As the duo went on rapping NAV walked up and down the stage having moments with his smitten fans in the front row. This collaboration between the performers is not the first, just last week 88GLAM and NAV released a music video for their joined track, “It’s a Flex.”  To quote the press release, “In the words of 88 Camino, the video focuses on fashion, decadence, and dissipation, featuring 88Camino decked out in a fitted baby blue suit a la Johnny Rotten and Derek Wise … surrounded by signifiers of luxury the pair embody abundance bringing the title of the track ‘It’s a flex’ to life.”

Now that we’ve paused to watch the video let’s return to the MOD Club. 

The duo kept an open dialogue with the audience throughout the set as they worked through their collection of tracks, smiles and all. The good vibes in the room were trickling all the way to the back and as expected with any sold out show, this room got pretty damn sweaty. The hype crowd on the stage brought out bottles of water that the duo begun to toss out into the audience and on the count of three the crowd begun to jump and toss open water bottles up in the air. “This is sick!” I overhear on the side, agreed, it deffinitly looked great from the back, not sure about the crowd of girls in tank tops now soaked to the bone without winter jackets. But hey, in the words of Dan Deacon: not my chair not my problem. 

The show ended rather abruptly without an encore. As the venue staff begun to disassemble the stage the crowd begun to slowly spill out onto the street looking for the afterparty. Good night Toronto, stay cozy in your crop top.

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