Tove Lo's Lollapalooza Aftershow: More surprises than a novelty t-shirt
|Tove Lo kicking Lollapalooza weekend off at Concord Music Hall on Thursday, July 30th, 2015. Photo by Kelly Pyzik.|
So, firstly, Tove Lo comes out wearing one of those long t-shirts with a body in a bikini screenprinted on the front and back (reference). It was an undeniably respectable way to begin this, her Lollapalooza aftershow at Concord Music Hall last Thursday, July 30th. Mad props. She later threw the t-shirt off and had the more expected tank top/festival shorts on underneath, but she also performed the entire show barefoot, which was just so fitting for her comfortable in her own skin, genuine stage presence. After the first song, we video called her mom in Sweden and wished Gunnila ("It is pronounced like vanilla, but with a G!" she instructed) a happy 60th birthday. It was the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life.
Tove Lo, born Ebba Tove Elsa Nissan, is from the suburbs of Stockholm, Sweden, and started out as a professional songwriter, independently recording her own music until she broke out with her hit single “Habits (Stay High),” and earned record deals with Island and Polydor Records. She has been featured as a vocalist on tracks like Seven Lions' “Strangers” and Alesso's “Heroes,” and worked as a co-writer on Ellie Goulding's “Love Me Like You Do.” Her stage name is actually a nickname she's held since childhood, having fallen in love at first sight with a lynx, called a lo in Swedish, at the zoo when she was young, and it is best pronounced by Americans as “Toe-v Low."
After from her perfectly in-character antics to start the show running, she played through, I believe, the entirety of "Queen of the Clouds." I loved every second of it. Not as much as the adorable girl in front of me from Poland who had chosen this as her very first ever live concert -- no one can top how beautifully excited that girl was at the very beginning of each and every song -- but still, the whole show was fantastic and the minutes flew by. Nearly everyone in America must have heard "Habits (Stay High)" by this point, but Tove Lo also has a number of great, underplayed tracks that speak through a heartfelt yet bold voice. The chorus from "Moments" could serve as an anthem for the self love movement -- "I'm not the prettiest you've ever seen, but I have my moments/Not the flawless one, I've never been, but I have my moments/I can get a little drunk, I get into all the don'ts/But on good days I am charming as fuck." I have to admit, I cried a little. I did. It's a very #real and empowering chorus and I am shamelessly vulnerable to getting all up in my feels. Other tracks like "Way That I Am," "Got Love," "1000 Miles," and "Run on Love" took us all for a quick whirlwind through every relationship in our recent history and each complicated side of love we felt, respectively. It was intense in the good way.
Usually reserved for comical drunks in the crowd, the shoutout of the night has to go to the opening artist, Broods, an unexpected superstar. Broods is like if you took a healthy helping of Tove Lo's pop star accessibility and instead replaced it with a bright yet ethereal Purity Ring/Odesza sound. Most people in the Concord had not come to see Broods and many had not even heard of her before, but by the end of the second song, energy was sizzling and sparking, the crowd was so into it. Encouraged by the loving vibes, the vocalist, Georgia Nott, told us the second to last song was going to be one they usually "pussied out" on playing -- everyone threw their heart into cheering her on. They proceeded to play a really fun, risk-taking banger, and she sang gracefully through the challenging range.
Broods is a trip hop/indie pop brother-sister duo from New Zealand. Georgia and Caleb Nott have been playing music together all their lives, and dropped out of college in 2013 to make Broods happen. Their first hit, “Bridges,” got them deals with Polydor and Capitol Records, and they have since released a self-titled EP and toured with Ellie Goulding.
The audience at Tove Lo was fairly diverse in terms of age and gender and a fairly considerate, relaxed crowd. The small venue was great for seeing such a big name because it necessitates a more intimate show and I was able to see the artists from just a few meters away. Concord's biggest weakness really lies in its sound: I don't know if the actual equipment is lacking, but the levels are always off. For such a small venue, the bass was up way too far, even for this pop show, and it drowned out the mids some. Especially at a concert showcasing amazing vocalists like Tove and Georgia, we really are longing to hear purity in the mids and highs. Nonetheless, additional shoutouts must be given to the security staff, who were kind and respectful all night, and to the six bars inside the Concord which ensure there is never a line for beer.