SCHOOL NIGHT TORONTO WITH JENNA DOE, GODBLESSRODNEY, KATHERINE LI AND CAT CLYDE
BY BRENESSA ROACH | FEBRUARY 2 2023
On Monday, January 30, I attended School Night Toronto’s first event of the year featuring Jenna Doe, GODBLESSRODNEY, Katherine Li and Cat Clyde. School Night is a live-music event that started in LA 9 years ago to help fans and the music industry find new and local artists. It’s also an event where rising artists perform for the first time ever. On the last Monday of every month, The Drake Underground hosts these School Night events…for FREE.
This was my first time attending a School Night performance, as well as my first time being at The Drake Underground. The venue is nice and cozy and holds about 200 people. When I saw that Jenna Doe and Katherine Li were both performing, I had to go because I have been listening to them since early 2022 when they blew up on TikTok. Additionally, I asked my photographer friend Vivian to accompany me and take pictures for my blog, so huge thank you to Vivian, please check out her other work!
Now, let’s talk about how the night went, starting off with…
Jenna was the first performer and she is the next, big alt/rock-pop artist. Her vibes are immaculate and she has a very early 2000’s style to her, which is very comforting, relatable and nostalgic. She also had a fantastic band accompanying her on stage and they were so amazing. Her set started with the song “Diary Entry” which is a song on her first EP Diary Entry which was released in April 2022. This was definitely a good song to start the night off with since it has a rock vibe and she was able to jam out on stage, allowing the audience to warm up and get amped for the rest of the night. Jenna’s stage presence is insane and her facial expressions are on point. She is very engaging with the audience, especially when she was transitioning between songs, those introductions were funny and relatable. The next song she performed was “Get Well Soon” which is the first song on her second EP Get Well Soon. This song really got the crowd going especially at the chorus when the full band comes in. Followed by “Get Well Soon”, Jenna performed one of her most popular songs titled “Shapeshift” which has 3.4 million streams on Spotify. The next song was “Shock Value” which is on her latest EP Shock Value which was released in September 2022. After “Shock Value”, Jenna decided to perform an unreleased song titled “Do I Wanna Kiss Him” which she described as she doesn’t know if she wants to be him, such as is it gender envy or does she want to be with him. This song is definitely one of the most fun songs she performed this night so I’m very excited for when it releases, which we don’t know when it will come out yet. The next song, is THE song that got me listening to Jenna in the first place and that is “Pink Slips”. “Pink Slips” blew up on TikTok and Spotify and it is now at 5.2 million streams. Jenna blew away the crowd with this performance, especially when she switched seats with her drummer and had a little drum solo. Jenna’s encore song was another unreleased song called “Girl With A Boyfriend” which is exactly what the title says. For this last song, Jenna played the acoustic guitar and it was just her playing until the first verse when the rest of the band joined in. Overall, watching Jenna live was so cool and she has a very similar vibe to beabadoobee mixed with Halsey so definitely check her out!
Special thanks to Jenna for providing me with the setlist for this blog 🙂
Check out Jenna’s Spotify page:
Check out Jenna Doe on Instagram: @jennadoemusic
More photos of Jenna Doe:
GODBLESSRODNEY was the second performer and his voice definitely really captured the hearts of many people. He opened with “Anybody Know” and he was actually having some technical difficulties that he considered moving on to the next song. However, he pulled through which was the greatest decision because he absolutely nailed that performance despite the obstacles. His voice is really dark, rich and soulful but colourful and light at the same time. I had never listened to him prior to this show but, it’s been a few days since and I am a big fan of “Anybody Know” that I wish it was on Spotify. Watching this song live made me tear up despite not even knowing the meaning behind this song or GODBLESSRODNEY’s story. The crowd definitely felt the emotions in this song as well. The next song on his set was “Broke My Heart” which is another slow, acoustic song filled with emotions. As he performed, I could hear the people around me saying “he’s so good” and “he has an amazing voice” and I couldn’t agree more. His vocal range is insane as he switches from a bass to a falsetto. He then performed “Entitled” which has a more upbeat feel to it. He was super engaging with the crowd and even got the crowd singing the chorus parts of his songs. Followed by “Entitled” was the performance of the song “Freefall”. I absolutely love this song so much. The sustained synthesizer with the drums and layered in with the vocals adds a futuristic feel to this. This song very much reminds me of The Weeknd but, also a song that would be perfect for a James Bond movie. “Life” was the next song GODBLESSRODNEY performed followed by “Runaway”. The second last song he performed was “Lockdown” which is a fun, upbeat but chill R&B song. He actually released this song to Spotify in April 2021. To end his set, GODBLESSRODNEY performed an unreleased song titled “OVER2U” which is coming out on February 8. This is the link to pre-save the song and what the link will be when the song comes out: https://venice.lnk.to/over2u
I had the opportunity to ask GODBLESSRODNEY if there was anything he would like to say in this blog so here is a special note from him:
“One thing to note is that all the songs with exception of runaway and anybody knows were produced by me. I shot the cover art for the project and everything that comes out next is produced, recorded, written and photographed by me. I love being creative and being able to do music and take pictures is something I really enjoy.”
Special thanks to GODBLESSRODNEY for providing me with the setlist and SoundCloud links for this blog 🙂
Check out GODBLESSRODNEY’s SoundCloud page:
Check out GODBLESSRODNEY on Instagram: @godblessrodney
More photos of GODBLESSRODNEY:
Katherine Li was the third performer at School Night and her voice and emotions touched the crowd. Her songs are kind of mellow and sad which goes well with her soft and airy vocal style accompanied with piano and acoustic guitar. She opened her set by singing “Happening Again” which was accompanied by her acoustic guitar. This is the song that got me listening to her in the first place, and it was wonderful seeing her perform it live. The next song she sang was “Wish You The Worst” which is a song on her debut EP Crush(ed). I unfortunately did not get the name of the next song she performed. However, after that song she switched to piano and sang “I Don’t Care”, which is another song on her EP Crush(ed). Her transitions/introductions between songs were relatable to the crowd and she was super engaging with the audience. The next song she performed was actually a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi”. Her rendition was so beautiful and brought back a lot of memories hearing this song after so long. Katherine’s debut song “We Didn’t Even Date” was released exactly one year ago as an Anti-Valentine day song, so she performed it as her second last song. She ended her set by singing her most popular song “Never Had a Chance” which is about someone you like but never had a chance with. Overall, Katherine’s stage presence and voice are amazing. Really looking forward to hopefully seeing her in the future again.
Check out Katherine Li’s Spotify page:
Check out Katherine Li on Instagram: @kkatherineli
More photos of Katherine Li:
The last performer of the night was Cat Clyde who has such powerful and colourful vocals. Cat’s vocal range was insane and she completely perfected transitioning between lower register of vocals to belting high notes. She had a band accompanying her while she played the electric guitar. She opened with the song “So Heavy” which is on her album Hunters Trance. I had never listened to Cat prior to this night, so it was really cool to see an indie-folk/rock singer. The next song she performed was “Papa Took My Totems” which was released on January 27. Followed by that song, she performed “Man I Loved”. “Everywhere I Go” was the next song and it’s actually a song on her upcoming album Down Rounder, which is out on February 17. If you would like to pre-save the album, you can here: https://cat-clyde.lnk.to/DownRounderIG.
She then performed “Mama Said” which is a song on her album Ivory Castanets which was released in May 2017. I forget which order she performed these in but she also performed “So Cold” from her album Hunters Trance and “Mystic Light” which was released in December 2022. My favourite performance of Cat’s was for the song “Eternity” which is another song on her upcoming album Down Rounder. The last song she performed was another song on Hunters Trance titled “All The Black”. Cat left the stage and came back for an encore performing “River”. Cat’s set was so energetic and really kept the crowd amped up. Really looking forward to the release of Down Rounder.
Special thanks to Cat Clyde for providing me with the setlist for this blog 🙂
Check out Cat Clyde’s Spotify page:
Check out Cat Clyde on Instagram: @catclyde