The last time I saw Tove Lo perform, she was less than six months removed from vocal cord surgery. At Bonnaroo 2015, she delivered a high-energy show, but you could tell she wasn’t yet 100 percent confident in her voice so closely removed from a major career scare.
Flash forward nearly two years and that scare is well behind her. At a sold-out Governors Ball After Dark show at the cozy Irving Plaza (QRO venue review) on Friday night, June 1st, the Swedish pop star showed that her voice – and swagger – is as powerful as ever.
The room was packed with mostly twenty-something women. Tove Lo has proven herself inspirational to young women, and it was never more apparent than when watching the room sing along to her empowering anthems.
One particular thing about her show that impressed me was how some of the songs translated from her records to her live show. A slowed down version of “Imaginary Friends” and her encore-closing quick-tempo version of the hit that launched her – “Habits (Stay High)”.
Tove Lo’s backing band really adds some depth to her songs. Some tracks, like “Influence” and “Keep It Simple” – had a ‘90s dance sound to it – almost like if Real McCoy and AlunaGeorge (who employs a ‘90s sound today) had a baby.
“Talking Body” was when the most amount of phones were in the air. Just prior, everyone in my section was grossed out by some unnecessary PDA by a drunken couple. I can’t blame them – Tove Lo’s overtly sexual songs can bring it out in people, most of us just have the decency to wait until we’re somewhere private.
It was an impressive performance that will have those in attendance that also have Governors Ball wristbands keen on choosing her set over Bleachers on Friday night. She’s a pop star ascending, and is as authentic as they come these days.