Concert Review: St. Lucia @ The Danforth Music Hall – Toronto

Just as the chills of November were enveloping Toronto, St Lucia made a return visit to infuse the city with exotic tropical vibes via their 80s happy synth pop.

If you are a millennial teenager, the mention of The Starting Line may result in a trip down the nostalgic wormhole. Mid TSL hiatus, Kenny Vasoli, frontman, started Vacationer, a self-coined Nu-hula sound inspired by the relaxing and rhythmic sounds of Hawaii and other resort-based areas. And Vasoli seemed more himself leading this new outfit compared to TSL days. Gone were the power chords and the atypical pop-punk stage jumps. Enter quirky shoulder moves; knee jumps with the bass or whatever felt right with the music. Vasoli’s loose onstage antics encouraged the usually stiff crowd to sway around a bit more than usual, perhaps get their dancing shoes prepped for the headliner.

80’s music night check list:

  • Multi-coloured strobe lights as backdrop
  • At least one band member rocking cheeky suspenders
  • 1 (or more) stage fans for cheesy ‘hair in the wind’ effects
  • Lionel Richie’s ‘All Night Long’ as intro music

And the list goes on as Jean-Phillip Grobler and his outfit St. Lucia go into each city reigniting the carefree energy of 80s pop. Touring the last few shows behind the debut When The Night, Grobler and co successfully relayed the genuine and infectious energy of songs from one of the best pop albums of 2013. Be it the mid-tempo gem ‘Before the Dive’, the seductive ‘All Eyes on You’ or dance-floor anthem ‘September’, the Brooklyn five-piece had no dull moments over the hour and half long set. Grobler, whose vocals resemble Simon Le Bon with Justin Timberlake’s falsettos, rewarded Toronto’s ‘aint gonna quit’ energy with new songs ‘Love Somebody’ and ‘Stay’. Finishing the encore with the biggest single ‘Elevate’ and album closer ‘When The Night’, St. Lucia capped off a near perfect celebration. The only flaw to the event was that it had to end.

Come back soon St Lucia. You know that, with you, Toronto wants to elevate.

For our video interview with St. Lucia, click here.

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Review by Nilabjo Banerjee ()

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