Friday, April 27th saw those Baltimore Toddlerz come out in full force in support of their fearless, colorful and talented leader Todrick Hall, when he brought his Forbidden Tour to the Baltimore Soundstage.
2016 marked the last time that the Texas born internet sensation visited Charm City with his sold out spectacle “Straight Outta Oz“, and it was evident to see that his presence was missed. On first notice from just walking into the venue alone, it was hard to overlook the “mixed flavor” of the crowd, because there were all walks of life in attendance, giving revelation that his brand of music and entertainment was for the masses. Aside from the colorful depths of the crowd, you could clearly see the levels of support was up on 1,000, whether it was fans decked out in past or present tour merch, holding printed photos of a selfie with Toddy, or even some folks wearing outfits from his “Oz” run, Bmore said in an unspoken manner “do not make us wait another two years until your next visit”.
With no opening act on the bill, this was set to be a “one man show”, or so we thought. Resounding chants of “Todrick, Todrick, Todrick” filled the air as the crowd anxiously awaited his arrival on stage, and then it happened. The lights went out, a video intro played against the stage backdrop, and what went from a “one man show” transformed into a full on production, as 9 singers/dancers marched onto the multi-level stage dressed in choir robes, mimicking an old school Broadway chorus line. With everyone’s attention directed to these talented individuals, a spot light beamed and BAM, there he was…Todrick standing at the highest point of center stage, soaking in all of the well-deserved fanfare.
If you know anything about Mr. Hall, you probably fell in love with him from his elaborate music videos, remixes, and skits that have taken over the internet. For an hour and some change, he was determined to show you why it is that he’s developed into the sensation that he’s become. Delivering his latest visual album “Forbidden” in the most visual of formats, a live display, it’s obvious some notes had been taken from a few of the artists that he’s looked up to. Hall used his artistry to the fullest extent as a catalyst to tap into your minds and pull you into a world that he created. The show blended so many different elements, ranging from musical theatre acts, story telling moments, pop concert, and a faux My Little Pony Land, but in someway, SOMEHOW, he made them all work as one cohesive unit.
There were a few highlights of the show, some of which were when he performed the latest singles lifted from his album. “Dem Beats” is a classic club song that features RuPaul and makes the claim that “they don’t make dem beats like they used to“, implying that dance music JUST isn’t what it used to be. The performance of “B” was a direct take on the accompanying music video, meshing 1950’s style with a drag twist that came with a modern day breakup message that anything other than me, will be a downgrade with such lyrics as “I was your B, I was your Yoncé“.
Right before act two of the show started, he took the time to show some birthday love to one of his touring crew mates Blaze, who also happens to be a magician and invited a fan on stage to be a part of an impromptu magic act. His display of humility and gratitude didn’t just stop there, as several times throughout the concert, there were direct interactions with the fans, again pulling two more unsuspecting audience members on stage during one of his closing numbers for a dance showdown. This is the type of attribute that allows him to be universally liked by everyone and sustain longevity in a rather fickle entertainment industry.
All-in-all, the show was an extremely upbeat, feel good time that was used a means to escape the worries and troubles of today by getting “lost” in the moment. The tour is rolling right through the beginning of the Summer, so if you ever need to take your mind off something, go out and buy a ticket to “The Forbidden Tour” for a temporary mental declutter.
Check out some photos from the show, shot by Arturo Holmes.