The Brooklyn rapper hit the stage in Montreal for the second time in as many years, on his “Ghetto Lenny’s Ignorant Forever” tour
After performing at Osheaga shortly after the release of his debut album, Collection One, Saint Jhn returned to Montreal a year later for the promotion of his latest full-length project, Ghetto Lenny Love Songs.
The concert at L’Astral was exactly what you’d expect from an artist who balances bass-heavy trap bangers and melodic R&B leaning tunes. Near riots occurred when Saint Jhn performed hits like “Roses” and “All I Want is a Yacht.”
The visuals on loop behind the auto-crooner reflected the cult-like aesthetic that Saint JHN evokes in his music and album artwork. Both Collection One and Ghetto Lenny Love Songs have a cross spread across the cover and might fool someone into thinking that Saint Jhn is a Christian rapper.
He really isn’t.
His songs focus on the club life he lives in Brooklyn, filled with drugs, sex, and any other topic that you’d find on a trap album. While the subject matter can get repetitive, Saint Jhn’s lively performance kept it from being a boring concert. After all, how many trap concerts can you go to before they all seem the same?
At times, Saint Jhn skipped words to see if the crowd would continue to rap his lyrics and while they did, it was muffled and unintelligible. It wasn’t that the crowd wasn’t into it, it was that they were so drunk that rapping coherently was quite a difficult task.
While Saint Jhn’s power came from his bangers, he proved that his voice could hold up to the high standards he set for himself with the album versions of his songs.
“I Can Fvcking Tell,” “Trophies,” and “High School Reunion” put his voice on the forefront and with the help of some reverb and a little autotune, he never went off key or lost energy. The crowd drunkenly mumbled along, at least proving to Saint Jhn that his fans knew his songs, sober or not.
Most of the songs he performed were deep cuts from his Ghetto Lenny Love Songs, but he also performed all of the big numbers that jump started his career, towards the end of the concert. After a lively performance of “Anything Can Happen,” Saint Jhn jumped into the crowd, made his way to the middle and asked everyone to form a circle around him.
He asked, or rather demanded, that the crowd keep making a larger circle so that everyone could mosh around him, while he played his biggest single from the summer, “Trap.”
Following that mess, Saint Jhn went back on stage and ended the concert with a prayer that had too many white people in the crowd usher a word they were in no position to say.
Sure the concert was a standard trap affair, but at least Saint Jhn knew how to entertain.
Photo by Derek Campbell