As we all know, Supercrawl was jam-packed with fantastic artists and guitar-shredding acts. But there was one performer who danced himself apart from all the rest.
If you missed Diamond Rings’ set on Saturday, no sweat, because the Toronto-based artist is sure to perform locally again. I have been a fan of Diamond Rings ever since the release of his hit single, “Something Else” in 2010. I had never seen him perform live and it really did end up being something else.
Standing beside elderly couples, children and Hamiltonians looking on, no one knew what to expect as the band took the stage. The guitarist, keyboardist, and drummer were dressed head to toe in black with black shades covering their eyes. As the electro-pop music began to flow, the drummer drove the bass hard into our chests and Diamond Rings ran onto the stage.
John O’Regan (stage name Diamond Rings) was dressed in white, with a black studded vest and black combat boots. He took to the stage with explosive energy, grabbing the microphone and belting out the first lines of “Everything Speaks.” It was not long before the whole crowd was bobbing their heads in awe to the jump-rope rhythm. It was like watching a performer from another dimension of time and space.
The 6’5” artist began to jump up and down, encouraging the crowd to jump with him. Throughout his set he choreographed fist pumps, head bobs, and various dance moves to the choruses of his songs. The hypnotic beats were impossible to stand still to.
Diamond Rings showcased his new music off of Free Dimensional, released in 2012. The sound explores elements of post-punk and channels it through charismatic synth-pop to create a blast of otherworldly glam. Diamond Rings is a pop star, drawing his inspiration from artists like Madonna, Robyn, and Devo. There is no doubt Diamond Rings not only values great music, but personal and individual style, which he conveys throughout his songs.
John O’Regan removed his shades midway through the set to reveal heavy eye makeup and a breathtaking angelic face. His own personal look adds another element to his sound. Sweating profusely, he committed all his energy and heart to each and every song. No one could look away and no one wanted too.
His lyrics explore heartbreak, love, personal confidence and fulfillment. They are light hearted, relatable and easy to sing along, too. As he performed it was like a weight had been lifted from the crowd’s chest, and the world was less serious. He took you from your present state into a state of supreme bliss. Everyone was taking a shine to Diamond Rings, even the lady with the walker in front of me.
He played his lead single, “I’m Just Me” last and, surprisingly, most knew the words by the end of the song. Dropping the microphone, he turned to face the drummer and teasingly removed his vest. Taking a power stance, he punched his arms out to his sides and then above him to the beat. Soon enough everyone was repeating this motion. I have never seen such a performance. Diamond Rings are expensive, but this one is priceless.