David Weiner ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Piles of sweaty people packed in close to the intimate stage of the Middle East’s basement venue. At the end of each opening act Jon Bellion’s name was yelled into the microphone causing the audience to erupt.
In the last two years Jon Bellion dropped out of college, got signed by two labels immediately after his first mixtape, wrote songs for Rhianna, Eminem and Jason DeRulo and last night began his first North American tour featuring music from his new album The Definition.
Take a minute to catch your breathe, maybe listen to Bellion’s synthy new track, “Simple and Sweet.”
At just 23 years of age, Bellion is making waves in the music industry after signing to Capitol Records and Visionary Music Group. He writes and produces his own music, directs his own music videos and performs with a live band.
“I do all of this for my family, they are everything to me. I want to be able to give them everything,” Bellion said with so much sincerity in his voice.
One can hear references to his family embedded in the lyrics of many of his songs. Bellion claims his family to be a major form of inspiration behind his music. Although most of his family shout-outs are emotional and genuine, one of his more popular songs tells of a cheeky encounter with his sister’s friend; “Dead Man Walking.”
“I don’t define myself by my music,” Bellion said. “Music is something I do, but there’s so much more to me and my message. I can seem cocky at times, but at the end of the day I want to direct people to God.”
Bellion has gained a majority of his popularity through the internet, having never been on tour or really even met many of his fans in person.
“I’m so excited about this tour, Boston was so crazy,” Bellion said, laughing as he changed his sweat soaked shirt. “I just want to experience all of this with my fans.”
A person in the back of the dark basement venue held up a drawing of the bearded Bellion hoping Jon would see. Immediately Jon put the mic to his mouth, pointed out the drawing, smiled and said, “Whoever drew that, I want to see you after the show.”
Another member of the audience held up a cardboard cutout of an old high school prom picture of Bellion’s face sporting a white top hat. The man was a long time friend of his. Maybe it was the gel-covered stage light that made Jon’s face glow so red, but I’d like to think otherwise.
Bellion’s performance featured up and coming rapper Blaque Keyz who delivered inspiring lyrics and engaged the crowd throughout the show.
Closing with his hard hitting track titled, “Jim Morrison,” the clustered swarm of fans got hotter and sweatier than ever as they crowded the stage with their outstretched arms. Jon threw water to cool them off.
The Beautiful Mind tour is now off to Philadelphia, PA for a night at The Barbary. You can listen to Jon Bellion on Spotify and find his music videos on YouTube.