Concert Review + Photos: Tove Lo and Linus Young @ The Phoenix – Toronto

Tove Lo
Thursday night may be the new Saturday night. Or so it seemed from the ‘girls night out’ vibe from the packed house at Phoenix that wanted to stay high with Tove Lo.

The chatter came to an abrupt halt with first oomph of the drums from openers Linus Young. Centered around duo of Iris Benson and Joseph Walker, the LA-based collective oozed equal amount talent and charisma, debuting their dangerously catchy tunes that are a must have on your road-trip playlist if you are going through deserted lands. That imagery is perfectly captured by the music video of the debut single ‘City of Sin’. The platinum blonde Benson and fisherman-hat sporting Walker had the contrast of gentle v abrasiveness seeping in their voices and demeanour, often stealing attention away from the supporting cast of stellar drums and bass. The minimalistic instrumentation furthered the alluring mesh of boy-girl vocals, and Benson’s masterful blues guitar play made the band’s mid-tempo indie-rock jams more memorable. Or maybe it was the fisherman hat.

The restless bunch had to put up with a prolonged entrance monologue, before Tove Lo shot right into ‘My Gun’. Known to her friends as Tove Ebba Nilsson, the midriff baring Swedish singer is no rookie to the world of pop music, having penned songs for Icona Pop and Cher Lloyd. Yet, this pop star opted for no choreography or grandiose lighting schemes. Tove Lo’s brazenly vulnerable voice and unabashed honesty in the songs was more than sufficient for the Toronto faithful to jump along to tunes from debut Queen of the Clouds. Having gained notoriety from that one song about being high, the energy level never dipped even during the non-single tracks like ‘Talking Body’, ‘Like Em Young’ or ‘Timebomb’. Obviously, the loudest cheer was saved for the last, as the barefoot star wrapped up her third Toronto visit with platinum single ‘Stay High’.

The sphere of pop music is often dismissed for being too superficial. Yet, there is a current influx of European female pop stars such as Tove Lo, Mo, Ella Eyre and others who impress with organic talent than banking on short-lived fame via music videos about their cartoonish ass. Europe, you give pop a good name!


Tove Lo

Linus Young


Click here for our interview with Tove Lo.

Review by Nilabjo Banerjee (@nilabjo) | Photos by Vincent Rivera (@realvincerivera)

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