Gallery: Marianas Trench “Never Say Die” Tour

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Hi Peeps! As you have read my previous MoVernie BLOG on my adventures at the Marianas Trench “Never Say Die” tour that was held at Air Canada Centre (ACC) last month, I had taken lots of amazing photos up close and personal near the stage and other areas of the venue. Yes, I worked very hard, ALWAYS on the MOVE to bring you the best photos of your favourite band.

Below is a gallery of photos that I took at the Marianas Trench Concert. Hope you enjoy them.

Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome photos and videos of my coverage at the New Balance Toronto Media Event. Stay tuned!

Also follow me on SnapChat @MoVernie or Periscope @MoVernie for more interactive live-broadcast videos.

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Marianas Trench “Never Say Die” Tour – Air Canada Centre (Toronto Stop)

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Marianas Trench, a well-established Canadian rock band was on a “Never Say Die” Tour in the past few months, making stops in many American and Canadian cities. Whether the cities were big ones or small ones, Marianas Trench made every effort to ensure its fans from all parts of the countries a chance to get up close and personal with them.

For those who wanted to know more about Marianas Trench, it’s a rock band from Vancouver, British Columbia that was formed in 2001. The band consists of members Josh Ramsay, Matt Webb, Mike Ayley, and Ian Casselman. This band has been in the music industry for 15 years and counting.

Personally, I am a huge fan of Marianas Trench, they are lovable, down-to-earth real, funny, cool, hip and really have its own unique character. Most importantly, this band has never ran out of music creativity, I have seen this band evolve over the years, thinking of new images, new ideas, new music direction, giving its fans something new to discover about the band while maintaining its own roots. That’s not easy to do for many bands but Marianas Trench just gets it done. In particular, I really like the singles called “One Love” and “Fallout“. You could hear the lyrics and how passionate Josh Ramsey interpreted in these songs. This band has so much to offer and so many hit singles that their fan base just continue to grow and grow.

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Last month, I was very fortunate to be invited to cover and review the Marianas Trench “Never Say Die” Concert at the Air Canada Centre (ACC) in its Toronto stop. Another great Canadian band, Walk Off The Earth did the opening for them for the entire tour. It was a perfect choice to have them to open for the Marianas Trench. In particular, I really like one of their latest song called “Rule the World”, it’s just so powerful, strong instrumental music and just full of energy. And to be able to hear them live was a total pleasure. They had definitely hyped up the crowd that evening. I wish Walk Off The Earth best of luck and continue to pump out great music and hopefully, I will see them have their own tour in the near future.

The set list told us that the Marianas Trench concert will begin at 8:50 pm. To my surprise, the band was right on time. Wait, let me re-phrase this. The reason I was super surprised because most concerts that I been to in the past, they would never be on time, with some artists showing up 40 minutes later. Not for Marianas Trench, they didn’t want their fans to wait too long and suffer, thus, they began on time.

The background display of virtual images, lights and music were what made a live concert fun and entertaining. There is no comparison watching the concert live than by watching it on TV at home, it’s a total different experience. Josh Ramsey, as usual came out wearing flashy outfits, holding up his guitar and began jumping up and down throughout the stage. His fellow members positioned themselves at different places throughout the stage, playing their respective instruments.

The crowd at the ACC were jam packed, they were screaming, jumping up and down, moving their bodies along with the music. The vibe was awesome. You could see lots of young ladies, kids accompanied by parents were all singing along every song.

Marianas Trench released its latest album (Astoria) back in October of 2015 and they performed many of the songs from this album, including Astoria, One Love, Never Say Die and many more.

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As you know, MoVernie is ALWAYS on the MOVE, so I took some shots from my seats and I also got to experience what a concert was like standing close the stage. I got to take lots of closeup photos (check them out below), so that I can share with you guys.

There was a few highlights that stick in my mind during the Marianas Trench concert. The moment when Josh came down the stage from the centre spot, he ran along the barricades and I was able to see him up close and personal, that was a memory to remember. He basically went around the arena and high-five the fans along the way. You could see how excited the fans were. Some even cried after they shook hands with Josh. Another highlight was when Josh went to the centre floor area, go onto the platform, sat down beside the piano and began to play the song “One Love” in piano version. That was really cool! Last but not least, Josh tied himself on a zip line wire and zipped across the stage in mid-air, singing songs while doing acrobats. That’s multi-tasking folks! All those spins moves and moving upside down in mid-air? Josh made it look so easy. I would have thought that flying mid-air, spinning around will affect his breathing or singing. Nope! Not a chance, he was flawless, smooth breathing and he maintained his great vocal.

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You could tell this band appreciates their fans greatly. Throughout the concert, the band thanked the fans for their support. I recalled at one point, Josh said, “Thank you all of you for your continual support, without you guys, we won’t be able to last this long. We have our own tour across Canada and U.S.A. We have our own show at the ACC. I recalled 10 plus years ago, when we were performing at a tavern, there maybe only a handful who showed up. Thank you for your love”. I thought that was a powerful speech. I mean, think about it, imagine yourself performing on a stage at a tavern and only a handful show up and 10 plus years later, a jam-packed crowd at the ACC? That’s something to be proud of.

Also during the show, Josh thanked the parents who bought tickets and accompanied with their kids. He said, “Thanks to the parents who came here with your kids. Now, let me teach you a lesson, Pop 101”. The crowd cheered as Pop 101 is one of the band’s songs.

One of the perks of being able to stand near the stage was the opportunity for me to observe how the behind-the-scenes work crew operated throughout the concert. Staff members consistently had to move equipment along the stage, setting up visual effects and coordinating with each other to ensure safety comes first and everything was working. Special shoutout to the hardworking staff members that we often negectled but played an important role to the success of the show.

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Did you know that the band used more than one guitar for the entire show? I honestly don’t play instruments myself. It was fascinating to see an entire row of guitars being placed underneath the stage and the staff members carefully placed them in specific orders. They also hand out different guitars to the band members for certain part of the performance. That was interesting.

All-in-all, I had an amazing time at the Marianas Trench Concert. They have come a long way to establish themselves and built such a large following of fans around the world. I think it’s not easy for a Canadian band to be able to build such a successful brand in both the U.S. and Canada markets but they did it!

I will definitely go to the next Marianas Trench concert. If you haven’t watch them in person, I highly recommend you buy tickets to watch them in the near future and also buy their latest album, Astoria.

Special thanks to Live Nation and Strut Entertainment for giving me such a wonderful Exclusive VIP experience at the Marianas Trench Concert in Toronto.

Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome photos and videos of my coverage at the New Balance Toronto Media Event. Stay tuned!

Also follow me on SnapChat @MoVernie or Periscope @MoVernie for more interactive live-broadcast videos.

Until next time, MoVernie is outta here!

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Delta Toronto – Part 2: SOCO Kitchen + Bar – MoVernie VIP Experience

Delta Toronto MoVernie VIP Experience – a 10-Part Series

Intro:

A few weeks ago, MoVernie and his brother, MoKenny were kindly hosted by Delta Toronto for an Exclusive MoVernie VIP Experience. Within the MoVernie VIP Experience, they each got a high-rise hotel corner suite room, a big tour around all the facilities and amenities that Delta Toronto has to offer. Fine dining at SOCO Kitchen + Bar was part of the VIP Experience and of course, a relaxing Whisky Bar 101 at Char No. 5 was also part of the agenda.

In this 10-part series, MoVernie will share his adventurous journey of his VIP Experience with his followers and audiences.

Part 2 – SOCO Kitchen + Bar

It was around 7:00 pm and that means dinner time! Delta Toronto had made a reservation for us at its restaurant called SOCO + Kitchen Bar. SOCO Kitchen + Bar is a modern restaurant that features the best ingredients, prepared with thought and care, yet simplistic but with creative twist to it.

SOCO Kitchen + Bar is managed by head chef Daniel Craig. I was told that he is like the James Bond of the food world, showcasing the secret culinary skills along with secret ingredients. Chef Craig is an internationally trained and award-winning Chef that brings his love of local ingredients and simple, yet elegant, food to SOCO Kitchen + Bar. He basically let his ingredients speak for themselves, letting his creations to bring out the best of its natural flavours.

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At a push of an elevator button, off we go from our 33rd floor and down to the main lobby. There was a huge SOCO Kitchen + Bar signage that you can’t miss it. There are two ways to enter the restaurant. If you are already inside the main lobby, you can access it from inside. If you are walking outside the hotel, coming from the Bremner Blvd, you will see the “SOCO Kitchen + Bar” signage and enter from the street level.

As we entered the entrance from the main lobby, the hostess immediately greeted us and guided us to our reserved table. Our reserved table was located in a quieter, private area that was near the bay windows. I love the table as it was more private and I also got to check out the pedestrians and cars moving along the Lower Simcoe street. Along our walk, we spotted the kitchen area where the chefs and kitchen staff were working hard to prepare the meal for the patrons. Then we walked pass the bar area that had a nice long bar counter and long lineups of flat screen TVs, showing a variety of sports games. If you are on your own or with a buddy, I highly recommend the bar area because you can watch the games on TV as well as interacting with the friendly bartenders.

Our server came and introduced himself and welcomed us to SOCO Kitchen + Bar. He asked how our stay was so far and also gave a brief introduction about this restaurant. As a social media digital influencer, having a fully charged smartphone is KEY to me. Our server told us that many of the booths or dining tables at SOCO Kitchen + Bar have its own individual outlet, so that we can plug our cord to it while dining. Furthermore, throughout the entire Delta Toronto, it’s FREE Wi-Fi. With Delta Toronto motto of  “Expect Even More” slogan, free Wi-Fi is a nice gesture. Delta Toronto doesn’t believe in charging its own patrons and customers with extra internet service. Instead, they want us to have a good stay and a good meal without worrying about data usage on our phones. I am sure many patrons would really appreciate that.

The restaurant was lit by individual candle lights on each table, giving it a chic, modern, positive vibe for the patrons. As I looked around, I saw a good mix of demographics of patrons dining here. We could see couples enjoying a romantic dinner. Friends who were having a few pre-drinks and shareable before heading to the Air Canada Centre to catch a Leafs game. I also saw family of four having pizza and burgers. I think SOCO Kitchen + Bar is a very versatile restaurant that caters to a variety groups of people.

As our server handed out the drink and food menu, I realized SOCO Kitchen + Bar have a good list of wine, beer and specialty cocktails. I told our server to surprise me with a specialty cocktail and he got us a refreshing Cucumber Collins. The pour was generous, yet the proportions were perfect. Really enjoyed the drink to start off the evening.

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As we glanced over the food menu, the list was concise yet adequate. A great restaurant shouldn’t be offering hundreds of crazy items on the menu, but instead, provide enough variety so the chef can focus on preparing the high quality of food items to its patrons. I realized that most of the food items on the menu were food that was familiar by most people, nothing crazy or out-of-this-world. Instead, Chef Daniel Craig wants to bring out the best flavours from these high quality fresh local ingredients with his great culinary skills. Furthermore, SOCO Kitchen + Bar also offered vegetarian food items.

Here is the list of food items that we had selected as we wanted to be able to taste the variety of food items made by the chef:

Appetizer:

MUSHROOM SOUP – wild mushroom sauté / feta cheese / truffle oil

OYSTERS (half a dozen each) – mignonette / tobasco + lemon / horseradish

HAND-CUT BISON TARTAR – egg yolk emulsion / black pepper jam / crisp parmesan / mache

Shareable:

MARGHERITA Pizza – fior di latte / tomato / fresh basil / san marzano

Entree:

ROASTED SCALLOPS – housemade truffled mortadella / hazelnuts / sunchokes

MoVernie vs Food Verdict:

The mushroom soup first arrived and from a distance, you could see the steam coming out. I love hot soup & having it nice and hot is key to a delicious soup. This is one element that many restaurants often neglect and presented with a warm or cold soup, which is a no-no in my books. So, with the fresh ingredient of the mushroom soup, it’s nice and hot, good texture and colour. I thought there was a bit too much of the feta cheese, if it can cut down a little bit, then it will let the mushroom shine a bit more, otherwise, it’s a good soup. And of course, I love anything with truffle oil.

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NOTE: This soup has become my MoVernie MUST-HAVE food item whenever I eat at SOCO Kitchen + Bar. If I am super hungry, it’s a good appetizer. If I am not that hungry after watching a Raptors game for a post-game meal, the soup is a good snack. You can’t go wrong with a hearty hot soup in any situations.

Then the oysters arrived in a circular metal tray along with the horse radish and sauce. First glance, the oysters were in season as it was big and juicy and the water within the shell was fresh. Everyone who follows me on Twitter knows how much I love fresh oysters.

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Then came the hand-cut bison tartar. Usually, it’s either beef or tuna tartar, bison tartar is a nice twist. The plating was great as I could see the egg yolk sitting on top of the tartar. After mixing all the fresh ingredients together, the first bite was unforgettable because the bison tartar was rich in colour and texture. It was tender, juicy and melt in your mouth. This was a great dish, coupled with the crusty bread, it’s the perfect combo. The bison tartar was definitely a great dish to share.

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After munching down all the delicious appetizers, I had finished my cucumber Collins, so my server asked me what else I would like to try. I told him I love beer, in fact, fresh pint of beer. He recommended me “Blanche de Chambly” brewed from Quebec. I recalled I had a great experience with this beer when I was visiting Quebec City so I opted for a pint of this beer. (It’s great SOCO Kitchen + Bar is providing some unique beer and not all the mainstream ones which they still provide but I like a good variety).

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As for the shareable, the margherita pizza was fresh off the oven. I could smell the fresh aroma coming out from the pizza. When I was in Rome, Italy, the locals often told me that margherita pizza is the best. The simplest pizza is the best way to test out the culinary skills of the chef and I totally agree. This margherita was a great dish to share among friends. The cheese was perfect in portion, not too much or too little. It came with a thin crust but its perfect thickness. I hate those thin crust pizza by other eateries that it was so thin that you couldn’t even lift it up and all the toppings splattered on your plate. I love my toppings being supported by a solid thin crust and being able to consume it in one bite without leaving a mess. I think the chef at SOCO Kitchen + Bar was able to achieve that.

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Both MoKenny and I love seafood and when the food menu offered roasted scallops, we jumped on the opportunity and we both ordered the same thing. Each scallop was nice and big. The first bite was fresh and juicy and not overcooked. Scallop, overall, is quite a difficult ingredient to prepare, you want it to be cooked and not be too raw, yet you don’t want it to be over cooked and shrink and being overly chewy. Chef did a perfect job with the scallop. One ingredient that aren’t always be served by chef was sunchokes, but I love it. I think it worked perfectly with the scallops. To me, sunchokes looked somewhat like a mini-ginger but yet the texture was like mini potatoes.

All-in-all, the food items being prepared at SOCO Kitchen + Bar was top notched. It’s amazing how the team was able to retain the freshness of the ingredients and provide a delicious list of food to its patrons. The perfect combination of awesome food and a great vibe makes SOCO Kitchen + Bar a great hotspot for family, couples and friends. It is also a perfect place for people to come before or after watching a concert, Leafs or Raptors game.

Also to note is the prime location SOCO Kitchen + Bar is located. If you walk around the Lower Simcoe area, there is currently isn’t much to offer. There maybe a few fast food eateries but a sit-down, modern restaurant isn’t really available around this area. So, SOCO Kitchen + Bar is a great place to have a nice meal after checking out an Auto Show at the Metro Convention Centre or a CN Tower tour or even a Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre.

Click here for more information on the SOCO Kitchen + Bar.

Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome pictures and videos on my adventurous journey!

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Special thank you to Delta Toronto for your kind hospitality, providing a unique, customized VIP Experience for MoVernie & MoKenny.

Click here for more information on the new Delta Toronto.

Check out my previous article here – Delta Toronto – Intro: MoVernie VIP Experience

Also check out – Part 1: Hotel Room – MoVernie VIP Experience

Raptors Season Preview Party

Contributor: Khristian Padua

Not just any normal Sunday but the Sunday before the highly anticipated Raptors 2014/2015 season starts. Hundreds of passionate fans showed up an hour before the doors opened including my self to catch a glimpse of the event which is about to occur . This act of eagerness plus everyone wearing Red , Black , or White Raptors gear shows how hungry are amazing city of Toronto is for a winner ! Not only were the beautiful people of Toronto who came in all ages and ethnicities covered in Raptors attire but all around the Air Canada Center , buildings & walls were filled of Raptors murals & advertisements . Toronto as a city has morphed into a dynamic, excited & proud culture ready to embrace that next level of success after that brilliant year in which our Raptors broke many records .

My mentor and friend Vernon Chang & I started the evening by lining up to meet the Raptors Brazilian rookie Bruno Caboclo. Bruno is a very tall but sweet guy . As I shook his hand he had a smile that showcased that he was very excited but at the same time a little bit overwhelmed with all the attention. Which is totally understandable for a 19 year old whose life took an unexpected positive change being a draft pic to the NBA after being fairly new to the game of Basketball. As he adapts I believe he will be a steal for the organization. When it was Vernon’s turn Bruno shook his hand and happily told Vern ‘ Hey I like your style ! ‘ even though his English is broken.This is quite the compliment to Vernon’s style and overall persona , we were both very happy that Bruno had such a nice first impression .

Before we headed into the presentation we were offered our free food and drinks as a welcome gift to the organizations supportive and passionate season ticket holders such as Vernon. Our plates came with a burrito , mixed rice , poutine , banana bread and a chilled beer to wash it all down . After settling in our seats of the Air Canada Center out came Toronto radio hosts Tim & Sid mic’d up on the nice set up of a mega screen big screen TV , a leather couch & chairs. They started by introducing and thanking the fans for coming out while doing hilarious skits praising Raptors GM Masai Ujiri. Very funny start to the presentation . Next came serious business as Masai Ujiri gave his expectations to the upcoming season and his thoughts on the overall situation of Toronto and the amount of success we achieved last season . One thing he consistently pointed out in his rants was that our fan base was bar none the best fan base in the NBA which i can personally agree & say I am proud of being apart of . Our strong fan base is going to be the 16th man game in game out for the Raptors. After Tim and Sid picked apart Masai’s brain asking analytic and dynamic questions for the crowd the fans were given an opportunity to ask the Boss-man Masai questions about the upcoming season.

Next came out former Raptors Mugsy Bogues who talked about his experience playing for the organization and his love for the city . One thing that stood out in his time given in the presentation was his desire to back up Vince Carter’s jersey potentially being raised into the rafters, the crowd was a mix of positive and negative feedback. Personally speaking I agree with Mugsy and I believe that Vince Carter put Toronto on the map and he deserves the credit where it’s due.

Grand finale of this presentation showcased our beloved stars of the Toronto Raptors. Our captain Demar Derozan , our leader on the floor and general Kyle Lowry & our promising third year big man Jonas Valanciunas. Within this segment including interview style questions with a few laughs in between as all their personalities are different but all click together. They emphasized there thankfulness for the Raptors outstanding support and fan-base and included their personal thoughts on last season and what they expect out of themselves this upcoming season.

All in all the event was an amazing experience and made me this much eager for the season to start. This year is our year and I believe with the additions of certain players are bench is deep enough to take our team to the next level and progress to a long play-off run with potential to compete with any team within the N.B.A night in and night out. One thing that stands us out compared to other teams is our core returning and everyone understanding their roles and contributing to one goal , winning. With the support of a city, country and overall culture change as Kyle Lowry said throughout the presentation ” We fight together as brothers, we go to war together ” we are ready , we the north !

The contributions of Khristian Padua, in the preparation of this BLOG is gratefully acknowledged.kd1

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Canadian Senior Men’s National Basketball Practice Session – Behind-the-Scene

The Canadian Senior Men’s National Basketball Team began its summer program practice session at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday. They were preparing for a tight packed four weeks of practices and games against top teams in Europe.  First off, Team Canada will have three days of practice in Toronto, then they will fly in Venice on Wednesday to begin a tour of friendly exhibition games against teams from Italy, Spain, Turkey, Slovenia, Georgia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Ukraine and Angola before returning to Toronto on August 13. Although the young exciting NBA players such as Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson weren’t available at the practice session, other guys such as Andrew Nicholson, Kevin Olynyk, Corey Joseph, and among others  attended the practice session. GM of Team Canada Steve Nash, Team Canada Coach Jay Triano and Corey Joseph addressed to the media about their goals and objectives with the practice sessions and the this Euro tour.

Here are some of the actions taken at the practice session at the Air Canada Centre, Raptors Practice Court, courtesy by photographer, Marcena Lau.

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Raptors Set Franchise Record With Most Home Wins in a Season

Yesterday, I was grateful to witness history as the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks by a score of 110-100 to have a franchise record of 48 wins and counting (since Raptors have one more game to go against the Knicks in New York on Wednesday).

Nobody would expect this Toronto squad to do so well beginning of the season and what a turn-around after the Rudy Gay block buster trade. Life is good as a Raptorfan right now. We are in the playoffs baby!

Last night, we also got to see the newly minted 2013-2014 Atlantic Division Banner hanging high above at the Air Canada Centre, joining our 1995 inaugural banner and the 2006-2007 Atlantic Division Banner. It’s about time we got another item to our currently bare Raptors collection.

I was very fortunate that one of sponsors gave me last minute tickets to be sitting in those awesome seats. We were sitting 2 rows near the centre court, just behind the media and in-game announcer section. We felt like we were in the action. The speed of the game was quicker, the size of the NBA players were bigger. It was an awesome view and unbelievable experience. My best seats were still the courtside seats a few years back when I saw Tim Duncan inbounding the ball right in front of us, but these seats were awesome as it was a memorable night to be remembered! I cherished every moment!

Go Raptors Go! See you in the playoffs!

See below for some action shots that I took at our seats at the game last night!

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Drake Night: Raptors vs Nets

 

First time in Raptors history that a Raptors game is featuring and hosting a rapper. And this special person is our local homeboy, Drake! That’s quite historic for a #DrakeNight.

Drake was sitting courtside with his buddies. OVO tee featuring black and gold theme showcasing a sneak preview on future Raptors merchandize. The tee is nicely designed, showcasing the Raptors and OVO logos. It’s long-sleeved, which is quite a good comfort design.

Drake did the hilarious Raptors player intro, along with giving away his “416” Raptors jerseys to the crowd. At half-time, his exclusive DJ, “Future the Prince” did a set and Drake was beside him giving two pairs of limited edition, OVO Jordans to 2 lucky winners!

The Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets by a score of 96-80, snapping the Nets 5-game winning streak.

Overall, I think it’s a very success night, a victory, a nice OVO tee and great appearance by Drake! Everyone went home happy!

I would love to see a #DrakeNight event once every Raptors season!

Go Raptors Go!

Check out Drake Raptors Player Intro taped by me at the game below!

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Drake Raptors Player’s Intro on Drake Night:

Kanye West “Yeezus” Toronto Tour

 

Kanye West “Yeezus” Toronto Tour was supposed to be held last month in November but due to a road accident that damaged concert equipment and made it “impossible to put on the show.” that his show was rescheduled until December 22 and 23. That’s just demonstrate to you how serious and professional Kanye is on the quality of his show. He is a perfectionist! But everything happened for a reason! The rescheduled Toronto tour finally happened in the past 2 nights when Kanye performed in both nights at the Air Canada Centre. As it turned out, the rescheduled show was perfect timing, not only it was near Christmas and holiday times, but it was also the last show of the Yeezus Tour. So, it’s a great honour for me to witness his talent and his performance here in Toronto with his last show of the year.

Kendrick Lamar, the up and rising, well-known rapper did the opening, hyping up the crowd with his numbers of hit track singles. The crowd was pumped! Kendrick put on quite a show, warming the crowd up! At one point, he asked the crowd to hold up their smartphones with the flash on, creating an amazing light show around the building. It was quite a sight!

Kendrick Lamar - Opening

Kendrick Lamar – Opening

As we all heard that Kanye has a tendency of opening his show late (at least 1 hour late). To our surprise, last night, Mr. West was on time! The moment we heard the beats and the speakers were about to play some strong beats, we knew the show will soon begin.

I think Kanye had elevated “live concert” experience to the next level! I was very impressed with the stage setup and all the visual and audio effects accompanied with it. The stage was huge! There was a mountain set that Kanye can stand at different elevation. He performed at the peak of the mountain, the mid-section of the mountain, it’s just surreal! There were smokes coming out to make the mountain scene as real as it could be. The huge circular projector screen on the ceiling was the equipment that forced the concert to be rescheduled. And I totally understood the importance of this equipment because it changed colours and performed various visual effects on it. It complements the mountain, giving every scene a different mood and vibe. The colours it showed gave every scene a morning, afternoon, evening or sunset mode. At one point, Kanye was lying on the spongy stage and this projector was used to show his singing while lying on the spongy stage. So, that was cool.

Kanye Yeezus Tour

Kanye Yeezus Tour

During the entire concert, the stage setup continued to impress me. Just as I thought the stage couldn’t do much anymore, it surprised me again and again. I would never thought the spongy “arrow-shaped” part of the stage could elevate up in the air and became a peak of another mountain! When Kanye stood at the peak of the mountain, it’s just so cool, especially with the spot light shining on him. The mountain even split in half (later on in the show) so that dancers can walk through the corridor to the front of the stage.

For most part of the show, Kanye was wearing a mask to make him look mysterious. Not until later, when he met a Jesus figure, that he took off his mask and greet the crowd. Kanye took 30 minutes of his time to go on a rant and talk about various topics in life. He wanted to inspire the crowd and address the misunderstandings the media made about him. He even swear using autotune which was quite a first for me to hear.

And the best to end the concert? Well, Kanye decided to sang the home grown rapper, Drake’s hit single, “Forever“. And to top it off, first time in the Yeezus Tour that a special guest was invited to perform in Kanye’s show. And guess who? It’s Toronto very own rapper, Drake! The moment Drake came out and sang a few songs, that was the highlight of the night. Being able to see the collaboration singing performance by Kanye and Drake was icing on the cake!

It was a great show indeed. One of the best I seen in years! Kanye had tons of hit singles and the amount of money being spent to setup the stage, the visual, audio and fireworks just made the show so much better. Alot of other artists would just set up a simple stage and that’s it, but Kanye is a perfectionist and he wanted to give his best efforts to make this show to the next level. And I am sure he had achieved that in his Yeezus Tour. Love him or hate him, one thing is for certain, Kanye West has talent & he is passionate about everything he does.

See you next time Mr. West! Your killed it! Your show was DOPE!

Like what you read? Follow “MoVernie Lifestyle on the MOVE” blog! Thank you for your support!

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VIDEO CLIP: Kanye & Drake singing together

Raptors Rudy Gay Bike Ride – #RideWithRG

It’s been a big weekend for Rudy Gay, who was named as an ambassador for the Kids, Cops & Computers program on Friday as he donated 22 laptops for the well-deserved selected group of kids. Then on Saturday, Rudy followed it up with a fun event for his fans on a perfect Saturday in Toronto. Rudy would most possibly be one of the first Toronto athletes to host a bike ride that interacts with fans by riding the bike together along the path of Lake Shore & Ontario Place.

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Gay invited his followers on social media a few days ago for a bike ride along Toronto’s Waterfront and brought special guests such as DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson, Aaron Gray, Quincy Acy, Dwight Buycks and Chris Wright, who all came out and support Rudy. Hundreds of Raptorsfans came out to enjoy this special rare opportunities. Being able to ride a bike and interact with Raptors players don’t come often all the time.

Here are some of the photos captured by me and you can get a glimpse of how fun this bike event was organized by Rudy Gay. “Follow” me on twitter @MoVernie or “Follow” me on “MoVernie on the BLOG”.

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Raptors Chris Wright, Quincy Acy & Amir Johnson

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Raptors Dwight Buycks & Aaron Gray sharing a laugh

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Raptors truck delivered the bikes and helmets for the Raptors players, donated by the Canadian Tire

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The bikes are all setup and ready for the Raptors players

Interview with UFC Fighter, Alex Gustafsson (1-on-1) – Q & A

MoVernie and his crew attended the UFC 165 Media Day where he got to interview one of the featured fighters, Alexander (Alex) Gustafsson on a 1-on-1 interview. Alex will be on the featured fight against the defending champion, Jon Jones.

Welcome to MoVernie on the BLOG Q & A session! In this session, the Q & A is in conversation format. This will allow the viewer to get to know the interviewee in a different setting.

Letès get the ball rolling!

MoVernie and Gustafsson, discussing Alex upcoming fight against defending Champion, Jon Jones at Toronto UFC 165 on Saturday, September 21.

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MoVernie: “Alex, nice seeing you. You are looking good man!”

MoVernie: “Yo guy, this is MoVernie on the MOVE, right now I am live at the Shangri-la for the media day UFC 165.  And beside me is the featured UFC fighter, Alex Gustafsson. Nice to see you here!”

Gustafsson: “Thank you!”

MoVernie: “So…what’s your game plan and what’s your mindset right now?”

Gustafsson: “Ah…you know…my game plan is…you know…going in there by not having a game plan. Just you know, focus on my own thing. And do my own thing. My mind is to..I am cutting on my own weight now, I want to make it as easy as possible for me in preparation for my fight on Saturday.

MoVernie: “So..you won’t have any particular tactics on Jon Jones, just go in there and do your own thing?”

Gustafsson: “Oh yeah, Jon Jones is the type of fighter you can’t really steer down on one tactic as he is unpredictable. You need to go in with an open mind.”

MoVernie: “Well..I know before you got a cut in your eye, you were wearing a helmet to kind of protect your sleep. Are you doing that still?”

Gustafsson: “Oh yeah, it’s just that now, I don’t have my helmet on or else I would be sleeping right now.” (laughing)

MoVernie: “So if you possibly win and beat Jon Jones, you may possibly use this helmet as a ritual for your future fight wearing your helmet regardless?”

Gustafsson: “Oh yeah, I will.” (smiling)

MoVenrnie: “So, how do you find Toronto right now? Have you been able to walk around the city?”

Gustafsson: “Yeah, I like (Toronto) alot, it reminds me of my home (Sweden) a little bit. Toronto is just a little bit bigger but I am enjoying my time.”

MoVernie: “If you have to pick a place right now (on the MOVE), other than Toronto, where would you choose?”

Gustafsson: “I would be back home.”

MoVernie: “Best of luck on Saturday!”

Gustafsson: “Thank you! I appreciate that!”

MoVernie: “And MoVernie is outta here!”

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MoVernie Summary: There were a large number of media outlets trying to interview Alex. But Alex was nice to me, as I was standing there politely and patiently waiting for my turn. He looked at me and told me to come and interview him. He was a very nice guy, a calm and chill type of guy. He gave me 2 minutes of his time and I really appreciate it! Best of luck to his fight on Saturday!

 

Alex Gustafsson vs Jon Jones

Alex Gustafsson vs Jon Jones