Coming off his joint-headlining Horizon tour with Tritonal and Kill The Noise in 2017, and a massive Journey Tour the year prior, Seven Lions had hit nearly over 60 North American cities in two years. With so many cities left out of that mix, Seven Lions thought it only fitting to re-create the aura of Journey for a whole new round of US cities.
The result was a string of 40+ stops for Journey II, of which Conscious Electronic was invited to cover toward the latter end of the tour.
Now a slight disclaimer: hitting a tour as it’s winding down is a bit of a Catch-22. On the one hand, artists have had countless cities to test things out, see what worked and didn’t work, and generally work out all the kinks. On the other, the grueling travel schedule often leaves them tired and low energy for the last few stops. That couldn’t be further from the truth for Jeff Montalvo. When he took the stage in Dallas and Houston, the last two sold-out stops on the tour, he exuded all the energy of a freshly rejuvenated veteran coming off a year-long sabbatical.
The Journey II Tour stands not only as one of the top tours of this past fall, we contend that it will down in Seven Lions history for being his last great tour. Now let me explain. From concept, to design, to live implementation, Seven Lions crafted an environment that was so fully immersive, so entirely captivating, so incredibly euphoric, and so incredibly packed, that it’s time Jeff Montalvo started seeking out larger arena formats. Needless to say, here are three reasons Seven Lions’ Journey II Tour will live on in infamy.
1. It’s the last semblance of an intimate Seven Lions show.
Time to face the music. Seven Lions is gotten too big and the sold-out crowd sizes are proof. It’s more than a man. It’s a movement. Long gone are the days of seeing Montalvo in the small and intimate club setting. Between selling out large-scale venues and playing to EDC Las Vegas-sized crowds, Seven Lions is iconographic at this point. With iconography like that, it’s time to level up.
We would like to see him go to a Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, and Tipper type of format, where he focuses on building stadium-sized spectacles for an audience that travels the country to see him perform, rather than the other way around. Now, Montalvo has spoken about building this type of movement before, but between his countless yearly festival appearances, it’s time to let his massive fanbase come to him.
2. The music curation, mixing, and track layering are bar none.
Admittedly, I saw Seven Lions multiple times in the year of his massive rise at world class venues like Red Rocks and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. While I still walked away a huge fan, I remember thinking his mixing skills could’ve used some work, his timing was off at times, and he had much to learn about controlling the energy of the crowd.
Now, more than four years later, he’s mastered all of that. So you can imagine my delight walking away from his Journey II Tour seeing Montalvo as an expert mixer and crowd conductor. Not only did he exhibit expert track layering, he looped his signature tracks throughout the entire set spanning multiple genres and even played classic throwbacks like “Lucy” and “Worlds Apart.” Elated in melodic euphoria, I was stripped of being only a critic and walked away a renewed fan of his intelligent visual and sound design.
3. The visuals are a stunning spectacle.
When the audio and visuals reach a certain synergy, a fully immersive environment begins to emerge. Good artists know how to craft a storyline. Jeff Montalvo knows this. In the Journey experience, Seven Lions constructed a uniquely arched storyline, complete with highs and lows, darkness and happiness, and characters to bring the crowd right back around. Coupled with Seven Lion’s expert mixing, he had the palm eating entirely out of the palm of his hand.
Once the show was over, and the house lights went up, the crowd was left eyes gleaming and spirits high. For fans of Seven Lions, this has become a niche community that comes together to escape their troubles and leave their personal demons on the dance floor. It has all the resemblances of going to church and repenting one’s sins. It will be interesting to see if Montalvo can push his movement in the direction of a few mass-scale shows where fans make the pilgrimage to witness his live spectacle. Of course, that is something that is left entirely up to the artists and his team of creatives. But, with the sold-out touring format leaving some fans out, one thing is for sure: Time to grow. Time to blossom.
Be sure to catch the last three stops on Seven Lions’ Journey II Tour at the end of the month in Chicago, Costa Mesa, and a special NYE performance in Seattle. Tickets are available now, here.