Jon Bellion more than delivered a night of musical excellence during the Cleveland stop on The Human Condition Tour...
It's been a wild five years for rising talent Jon Bellion. Although his name may just be appearing on pop radio, the 25 year old musician has made himself a mainstay in the industry with his behind-the-scenes work for some of the biggest names in music.
The New York born singer, songwriter, and producer made a respectable debut with his Scattered Thoughts Vol. 1 EP in 2011. On the compilation Bellion displayed his various talents and a seemingly bottomless well of promise. It was only a teaser of things to come...
Writing with fellow rising talent Bebe Rexha on Eminem and Rihanna's 2013 smash hit "The Monster" earned Bellion his first tenure atop the charts and his first Grammy in 2015. The massive success was proceeded by another cameo on Jason Derulo's 2013 Tattoos. Writing and producing on the standout track "Trumpets," Bellion also served backup vocals and beatboxed on the bridge. The single peaked in the top 20, netting the budding talent his first vocal appearance on the charts.
Bellion continued working on solo material while writing for industry heavy hitters. With releases characterized by bright productions and crystalline vocals, the young musician displayed an ability to seamlessly blend genres. Time after time Jon proved himself to be a beast, capable of producing some of the most forward thinking productions music has heard in recent years. Incorporating vibrant synths, live instrumentation, beatboxing, and vocables to his earnest lyricism made him all the more relatable and all the more beloved to the fans he accrued over the years.
This year Bellion dropped his debut album, The Human Condition. The album is even stronger than the work displayed on his debut five years ago, but little else has changed. Jon Bellion remains one of the brightest and most welcome additions to music in recent years. After a debut in the Top 5 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, it is hard to deny that he has finally received the critical acclaim he has been working towards for years.
In promotion of the album, Jon Bellion has embarked upon a tour across North America to bring the album to life. Aptly titled The Human Condition Tour, the show kicked off with a set in Boston on June 20 and is set to run through July. We had the opportunity to see the Cleveland, Ohio show, and we're still recuperating from the excellence that was served onstage at the House of Blues.
Following opening performances from Blaque Keyz and SonReal, Jon Bellion took the stage alongside a full band and frequent collaborator Travis Mendes. Mendes, who appears on lead single "Guillotine," served backup vocals throughout the show and acted as a hype-man, bounding across the stage and heightening the energy in the venue.
The group kicked things off with the self-reflective "He is the Same." Serving as the lead track on the new album, Jon makes a bold declaration on the cut. Over a striding production, a worldly Bellion proclaims that he may be more successful than he was in the beginning but that fame hasn't changed him for the worse. Bellion served an earnest vocal performance while joyously body rolling and playing along on his beat pad. Watching him bop around the stage, it was easy to see that the track could not have been more honest.
The Cleveland show was only the third show out on the tour, and at several times over the course of the evening Bellion was notably overcome by the positive reaction he received from fans. Fans sang along from the moment Jon took the stage, chanting the lyrics and expressing their excitement for the event.
Most of the content on the setlist was lifted directly from The Human Condition, though a few fan favorite tracks from previous EPs made appearances. One of those exceptions was The Definition's "Run Wild." The liberating track features a mellow production that builds as the chorus progresses. "Now you wanna run wild" Bellion chants as the instrumentation picked up underneath him.
As an artist who knows his way around a hook, the more pop oriented moments of the show were stunning. Supported by his band, Bellion's live productions were truly exceptional. Synths seamlessly blended with live instrumentation on tracks like promotional single "80's Film," which received an overwhelming response from the audience.
Easily, the most musically impressive moment of the evening occurred when Bellion recreated the production of "Maybe IDK" in the live. Exploring his fear of the unknown on the track, Bellion realizes that it's alright to not always have a defined plan. The audience was left in awe as Bellion recorded and looped himself, building the track from the ground up. His voice soared triumphantly over the track, as he found peace in the unknown.
Another powerful moment came in the moments leading up to the performance of the album's closing track "Hand of God (Outro)." Reflecting upon some of the horrible things that have happened in recent memory, Job Bellion reveled in the ability for people to find peace and a sense of community in music. Encouraging the audience to promote love, the artist displayed a wisdom beyond his years and created a safe haven. The powerful track incorporated moments from previous songs and brought everything together in one truly heartfelt moment.
A much-requested encore performance of "Jim Morrison" closed out the evening on a high note. The lights flashed and Bellion and Mendes flew across the stage, buoyed to new heights by the audience's cheers.
It should come as no surprise that his live performance resonated with life and energy. Overall, The Human Condition Tour showcased Jon Bellion's many distinct attributes. The live setting showcased the humanity behind the music. At 25 years old, Jon Bellion is a star in his field, but he remains relatable. That reliability makes him all the more incredible onstage.
Jon Bellion's The Human Condition Tour runs through July 29 with a final show in New York City. Pick up tickets HERE, because you truly don't want to miss out!