The summer breeze soothed the spirited crowd at the sold-out Greek Theatre Friday night (July 12) before Jon Bellion graced the stage. His 35-city Glory Sound Prep amphitheater tour celebrates Bellion’s musical ingenuity while giving concertgoers an introduction into his latest business venture: an animated series.
In the era of tremendous genre-bending proven by Lil Nas X — which Bellion is no stranger to as he warps hip-hop with indie pop, rock and electronic music — Bellion is unquestionably talented and constantly pinching himself about it. “Wait, I’m living my f–king dream right now!” he yelled before pausing his performance of “Let’s Begin.”
Below, find the six standout moments from his concert.
Marc E. Bassy Opens Concert with New Single “Die Hard”
Bay Area native Marc E. Bassy was one of the openers for the Glory Sound Prep tour, and he prepped his fans for the release of his upcoming album Postmodern Depression by performing singles “Save Me” and “Die Hard.” Billboard exclusively premiered “Die Hard” Thursday (July 11), and Bassy got his first shot at singing the funky R&B tune live.
He told Billboard backstage that Bellion is “a massively talented singer who has some of the same sensibilities as me.” Bassy said the Glory Sound Prep Tour is a dry tour — meaning no drugs or alcohol — so the main focus is on the music and doesn’t fall short of it. “On this tour, you gotta come with it every night because Jon’s so good. I’m finally pushing myself that way,” he said.
Another artist who admired Bellion last night was Lauv, who tweeted the “All Time Low” artist is “a whole nother level live.”
hey @jonbellion u are a whole nother level live
— lauv (@lauvsongs) July 13, 2019
Bellion Turns the Night Sky “Blu”
He started with the house lights off and with with four purple spotlights on him. As his falsetto rang throughout the amphitheater during the chorus, the stage slowly illuminated with blue, then purple and green twinkly lights, which felt like its own miniature night sky. Hands swayed in perfect unison as Bellion kept crooning. Toward the end of the performance, he shushed the audience before breaking out the last “Blu” in a goofy tune while shaking his hips.
The Band Plays The Wheel of Solo
Bellion put his bandmates, Lawrence (one of the tour’s openers and his label Beautiful Mind Records’ first signed band) and guest performer Travis Mendes to the test. “The Wheel of Solo” is a game where Bellion calls out three names to perform a solo either instrumentally or vocally, and if someone messes up, they have to do 50 push-ups. Luckily, no one broke into a sweat because everyone passed with flying colors as red and purple lights flew across the stage. The test grew more complicated when Bellion made them follow his dynamic beatboxing lead as he approached them individually, or else they owed him 100 push-ups. Again, the band, Lawrence and Mendes cooked up an improvised set that didn’t disappoint.
“All Time Low” is the All Time High
Bellion’s hit “All Time Low,” which peaked at the No. 16 spot on the Hot 100 at the beginning of 2017, struck a chord with the audience. The concertgoers in the very back of the amphitheater began harmonizing with Bellion before he instructed everyone, “We gon’ build it from the ground up.” The crowd crouched near the base of their seats, starting “low low low low low low low low low.” Then everyone slowly danced their way back to standing and clapped vigorously as the beat quickened and the anticipation burned before we could sing the repetitive, sonic rollercoaster of a chorus again.
Bellion Gets “Stupid Deep” with Mini Sermon
The pan flute runs in the chorus of “Stupid Deep” audibly transported attendees from the forest surrounding the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park to the Amazon rainforest with its tropical, soft rock ambiance emanating through the space. It’s from there that Bellion broke out into a miniature sermon: “Regardless of skin color and orientation, you are welcome, and you are loved in this building.” Bellion instructed fans to look to the person on their left and right and high-five them, because “we’re one people in one moment.” The amphitheater resembled a megachurch encompassing the masses as the show seemed to double as a service.
The Crowd Creates an Earthquake Ahead of Encore
When Bellion left the stage, an encore was immediately demanded. But the rumble that came from the venue wasn’t another earthquake coming for L.A., as fans banged on the seat backs until the artist reemerged. Before he delved into “Woke The F–k Up,” he announced, “There’s an animated series coming soon.” He said on each tour merch item, there is a password, and after the tour is over, fans can use that password to unlock a website where they can help build the series with him in real time. And whoever had a green circular sticker on their purchased merch would be flown out to the premiere of his series. Bellion mentioned it doubly empowers his fan base while building his own business agenda that he has envisioned for so long. He teased the crowd, “Anyone in the house wanna see an animated series?” Everyone cheered, and the manmade aftershock occurred.
Jon Bellion’s Greek Theatre set list:
“Let’s Begin” (feat. Roc Marciano, RZA, B.Keyz & Travis Mendes)
“Conversations with My Wife”
“All Time Low”
“Guillotine” (with Travis Mendes)
“Adult Swim” (feat. Tuamie) – intro to verse 2
“Adult Swim” (feat. Tuamie) – verse 3
“Woke The F–k Up”
“Good Things Fall Apart” (by ILLENIUM)