By: Brenda Gomes
I first heard of Flint Eastwood when she was out as direct support for PVRIS on their fall 2017 tour. Instantly, I knew she was an artist to watch. Flint Eastwood, aka Detroit native Jax Anderson, had no problem commanding the large rooms of that fall tour, so when her first headliner was announced with its kick off in Toronto, I knew I was in for a treat. The Horseshoe Tavern is one of Toronto’s most legendary small music venues, boasting previous performances from various bands, ranging from The Rolling Stones to Billy Talent. I had no doubt Anderson would fit right in.
Support for the night came from producer Nydge, a fellow Detroit based artist and resident of the collaborative studio Anderson helped co-found, Assemble Sound. His sounds drew the crowd toward the stage and got them dancing to start out the night.
At last, it was time for Flint Eastwood’s set. Right from the moment Anderson and her band hit the stage the energy was cranked up to eleven as the singer refused to stand still for even a second. Missing her iconic red hat (she later explained that it was difficult to travel with and had to be left at home), Anderson made it clear that participation and interaction were an integral part of the night. Leading everyone in a sing-along of “Monster” and asking that we introduce ourselves to those around us, while she introduced herself to those in the front row. She took the time between songs to recount hilarious anecdotes of tour life and what it’s like to be a Detroit artist as well. Dancing was also very important, with the vocalist instructing everyone to move their hips, which is needed with the two new songs Flint Eastwood performed. New dance hit, “Sober”, was particularly infectious, and is set to make waves once it’s released. For the last three songs of the set, Anderson requested that everyone put their phones away for a while so we could be a little family and enjoy the moment together. We’d need our hands for “Oblivious” anyways as Anderson taught us some hand motions to go along with the chorus. By the time “Small Victories” came on, the crowd was having too much fun to call it a night just yet, and chants for an encore started before Anderson and co. had even left the stage. Luckily, the break only lasted about a minute before Flint Eastwood came back to snap a couple of group photos and grace us with the hard hitting “Queen” to end the night.
To say it was an incredible night seems like an understatement. Anderson knows how to bring in a crowd and make them feel welcome with her energy, creating a true family for the duration of her time on stage. It’s impossible not to smile and dance along to her music, and she wouldn’t let you anyway. If you want to have a fun night, Flint Eastwood is not one to miss, and luckily she seems to have no plans of slowing down in 2018. Be sure to catch one of the remaining nights of her headline winter tour, or as support for PVRIS this February and March.