After two months away, I found myself heading back to Amsterdam Bar & Hall for a show a little outside of my norm. One of the things I like the most about covering shows is being able to cover bands and artists that I recently discovered, with the most recent being Swedish pop artist Tove Styrke. Honestly, two weeks ago I couldn’t tell anyone much of who Tove Styrke is or what she’s been up to, but a crash course in her music over that time caught me up to speed. Styrke recently released an eight song album “Sway” and for an album that short, it is filled with hit after hit. Making her way across North America on a headlining tour in support of this album, Tove Styrke made a stop in the Twin Cities at Amsterdam.
Opening the show was Au/Ra, an artist I briefly checked out prior to the show. I’ll admit I could have been better about previewing their music, but what I was familiar with I was pleased with and even the more unfamiliar music I was pleasantly surprised with. Au/Ra’s music translated excellently on stage; the electronic elements of her songs got the crowd going and her song titled “Drake” got the crowd singing along about her failed attempt to add Drake on the Playstation Network. Au/Ra, although on the surface more on the reserved side at first glance, proved to be an entertaining artist to watch, with her subtle confidence shining through her entire set.
After Au/Ra left the stage it wasn’t long before Tove Styrke made her way on. Playing for what felt like an incredibly short hour, Styrke commanded the stage from the start. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t anything remarkable about her stage presence or her live set; there was something special about the intimacy of the show that amplified every emotion, lyric, and beat, and how she won the crowd over after handing out a small number of roses to a few people. Playing a range of songs both new and old, and original and covers, Tove Styrke definitely left the crowd wanting more.