Canadian artists welcome Queen’s class of 2023

Scott Helman, Delaney Jane, and Notify sweep the Miller Hall stage

Scott Helman performing at the mystery concert. 
Credit: 
Photos by Darby Huk

This year’s orientation week mystery concert gave first-year students—including me—a good indication of the raucous, fun-filled futures we face here at Queen’s.

The surprise artists this year were Scott Helman, Delaney Jane, and Notify, who performed for the first-year crowd on Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m. outside Miller Hall.

The concert started in a downpour, with students waiting in long lines and getting thoroughly patted down by security. While the level of security seemed intense for an orientation week event, the night’s energy wasn’t dampened.

Notify was first to take to the stage, opening the show with his R&B melodies and upbeat rapping, warming up the audience for the next performers. By the end of his set, the Canadian up-and-comer had most of the audience singing along with his outstanding vocals.

Juno Award-winning artist Delaney Jane was next, bringing her EDM tunes and tight choreography to the Miller Hall lot.

Delaney Jane at the mystery concert.

Jane went above and beyond audience expectations by engaging directly with them. She tossed free t-shirts to some audience members and pointed back at audience members who pointed to her.

What caught my attention most about her stage presence was the amount of love she gave the audience and the love that the incoming class gave back. She showed her love when audience members started singing happy birthday to a student, and she stopped her set to sing with the audience.

Jane also performed a song titled Safe with You before its official release date. The song showed off her range, and the exclusive sneak peek made for an intimate experience between the singer and the crowd.

The interaction between the artist and the audience reached a new level when the artist walked offstage and high-fived audience members in the front few rows. After her set, she stayed to meet her audience at the merchandise table.

After a 45-minute intermission, Toronto-based artist Scott Helman took the stage.

Helman’s song PDA had the audience singing so loud that it was difficult to hear his voice above the bellowing first-year students.

The crowd liked his performance so much, they started crowd surfing and seemed not to care that it’s usually the performer’s privilege to be passed along on fans’ hands.

They also showed their love for Helman by waving their phone flashlights in the air to his quieter acoustic melodies.

Between songs, Helman shared stories about his Toronto roots and his feeling that he’s come full circle, from partying at Queen’s to performing on campus.

He claimed that out of all the universities he’s performed at, Queen’s has the most engaged audience, which only caused their energy to rise.

In response, the crowd begged Helman to take part in classic Queen’s chants. ArtSci students called out to Helman to ask them how they feel, but Helman didn’t take the bait. Throughout the evening, students got even rowdier and eventually took to chanting “F—k Western,” which references the two schools’ rivalry.

The small venue and outdoor setting made it easy for the performers to address some audience members directly, providing an intimate atmosphere rarely available in larger concert halls.

Overall, the evening set a high bar for the new school year, leaving students with great expectations for future events at Queen’s

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