Serena Ryder braves Homecoming showers

Concert headlines festival with charming performance

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Serena Ryder’s Homecoming performance this weekend was less of a concert and more a night spent catching up with an old friend.

“I’m 34, bitches. I am not succumbing to peer pressure,” Ryder joked with the crowd when they started chanting for her to chug her drink mid-performance.

Prior to the concert, Ryder spoke to The Journal about life on tour, her future career plans and her thoughts on performing at Queen’s.

“[Performing] in a university setting? It’s the best – there is that energy, that youthfulness, those party vibes,” she said.

With Kingston being a regular stop on a tour, Ryder said she was looking forward to returning. Even though she had yet to play, the idea of an outside venue and playing in front of a university crowd was exciting.

 “I had the best time ever – I already know it,” she said.

It was clear that, once at the show, the crowd shared Ryder’s eagerness.

Even after the rain started to come down at the beginning of her set, a strong turnout braved the weather to jump, cheer and occasionally slow dance throughout Ryder’s performance.

At one point, one of the more inebriated girls in the crowd yelled “sing more break up songs!” to which Ryder responded, “look, you are all young and drunk and we are just old and drunk.”

Meanwhile, the set design for Ryder’s performance emulated the themes of her most recent album, Utopia.

“We have been basing the set and the theme on dark and light and the middle ground, the grey area. We have three parts of the set that represent those things as well,” Ryder said prior to the show.

She added, “It is really fun for us musicians up on stage, as well as the audience.”

Ryder has been enjoying her time on the road so far, mostly because she loves the company of her bandmates, including her guitarist Joan Smith — a Queen’s alumna.

“We are so in love with each other; me and my band are best friends, they are amazing people and we love being with each other and they are some of the funniest people I have ever met in my life, ” she said.

Ryder’s love for her bandmates isn’t the only thing she’s passionate about within her career.

Ryder is known for her activism work with Bell Let’s Talk, Young Artists for Haiti and others and constantly uses her voice and influence to raise awareness for these causes.

“Bell Let’s Talk is definitely an important cause for me to be a part of because personally I have struggled with depression in my life,” Ryder said. “I think regardless of what I do for a job or as a human being, it is important to be able to stand up things I believe in.”

Ryder added that she acknowledges the impact her voice can have on her audience members, understanding that, “because I have had success as a musician, I have the platform to be able to speak to a lot of people, so that’s important to me.”

On Saturday night, Ryder ended her concert expressing a mutual sentiment to the crowd of Queen’s students and alumni.

“I really fucking love you guys.”

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