Thursday night was another night of walking into a show where I knew nothing about the acts performing… at least I thought I knew nothing. Sure, I’ve seen and heard Tove Lo’s name all over the place but I’ve never really taken the time to check her out due to the fact that I, for some reason, just threw her in the top-40 scene which I only really dabble in. What a mistake that was.
Finnish singer Alma got things going for the night at 7PM sharp. Even though it felt early to me, the audience had turned up just as early and were clearly ready to power. Alma took the stage with a sense of ferocity and power and really just let loose on the audience. She instantly reminded me a bit more mainstream Jax Anderson with her definiant attitude and less than subtle lyrics and I was loving it. She was only on stage for twenty-seven minutes but her set definitely packed a punch. Although she was just an opening act to me, I was surprised and happy to see that some of the audience members around me were singing along to every word. It was when I noticed that that I realized this would be much more than just a write off top-40 show.
Tove Lo is a 32 year old singer and songwriter from Sweden. As mentioned, she’s one of those names that you may have heard before a million times but never quite put it together with her music or at least that’s what you think. It didn’t take more than a song for me to realize I knew exactly who Tove Lo is. Her voice is distinctive in the best way possible. A little sultry and dark while being powerful and commanding at the same time. Her beats are just as recognizable with grooves that make it impossible to just stand there and pretend like you’re not having a good time (because you are inevitably having the time of your life while watching her perform). What I’m trying to say is that within the opening track (“Glad He’s Gone”) I was sold on whatever else was going to happen throughout Tove Lo’s set.
There was no hiding the broken ankle (or whatever it was that caused Tove Lo to be sporting a boot on one of her legs but it also didn’t stop her from doing anything. Sure, after the first song standing and quite honestly hobbling around to the best of her ability, Tove Lo took a seat on a gorgeous and ornate chair that was sitting front and center on the stage but, instead of just sitting there, she continued to dance her butt off as much as she could within the restrictions of the chair. There was no moment throughout her twenty song set where I felt like I was missing out on something due to her lack of mobility and, if anything, it just made me want to see her again because if she’s that good sitting down, I can only imagine how explosive her should would be with her being 100% in action.
Her voice was flawless and there were many points throughout the set where her vocals were put to the test and she passed with flying colors. The people around me agreed with me and there were multiple times throughout the night where one of my neighbors would turn to their friend and just explain how surprised they were at how great she sounded (and looked). It was almost like they were expecting a let down which had me a bit baffled but, at the same time, I got it. I’ve been to many shows where I wonder if the performer is going to sound like the recordings that had me fall in love with them and always prepare myself for the fall of the two not matching but that’s not the case for Tove Lo. She is just as talented, creative, and beautiful in real life as she seems on recordings.
I feel like I say this on a weekly basis but I can not stress it enough– go see a show that you know little to nothing about. Go ahead and go into it with your preconceived notions about what it may be but also be willing to have your mind changed. Last night was proof that an amazing live concert means more than a song on the radio does and can make you hear a certain artist or group in a whole new light.