On the evening after one of the biggest snowstorms in the Seattle area in years that closed down schools, Tove Lo and Phoebe Ryan were set to kick off the Lady Wood tour at Seattle’s Showbox SoDo venue near Safeco Field. Needless to say that while waiting for our press passes and the doors to open Jess and I were a tad bit cold. And by a tad bit, I think we were frozen lemonades by the time we actually made it inside.
After remedying the chill from standing outside for more than an hour, we started to thaw out a bit and took a peek around the venue. Showbox SoDo is primarily used for music concerts and has a capacity of 1100. The wide open floor is meant for a GA audience that is seasoned and knows their way around concerts. It is serviced by two bars, which is nice, and a merchandise table set up to the right of entrance. The site is a decent place to catch some great acts like Tove Lo and Phoebe Ryan. It is intimate, but large enough to draw some big names.
As the lights dimmed for the opening act, Phoebe Ryan, I made my way to the photo pit to grab a couple snaps of the green-haired starlet as she jumped right in! I don’t think that the crowd was quite ready for how much energy and enthusiasm that the Texas native exuded. As she sang, the crowd gained momentum. During her first pause, prior to her third song, she let the audience know that she was performing in her pajamas because she had come straight from the airport to the venue and her luggage had not arrived. But as they say, “The show must go on!”
Ryan then jumped into her cover of R. Kelly‘s “Ignition” which was spectacular and energized the crowd as they sang along to one of top party anthems of the early 2000s. She gave us a wonderful rendition of her hit song with the Chainsmokers, “All We Know”, and finished up with her latest single, “Dark Side”, debuting it for the first time on stage. The electro-pop singer-songwriter was on stage for a mere 30 minutes, but it was electric and entertaining. Here is hoping that Phoebe Ryan headlines her own tour soon, so we get more than a half hour.
As showtime for Tove Lo neared, the crowd seemed to double and people crammed into any space they could to get a view of the Swedish singer. As a side note, Jess and I had the pleasure of catching Tove Lo in October when she opened with Phases for Maroon 5. Part of the reason, we wanted to catch this show was to see pop star do a full set and not be limited as an opener.
The lights dimmed and the wait was finally over. Tove Lo popped up on stage as the curtains dropped and went straight into it. Vocally, she is brilliant. For as much as she dances and moves provocatively across the stage, her voices never breaks. It is clearer and more vibrant than on her albums. She led in with the likes of “Lady Wood” and “True Disaster”. Tove Lo plays up every bit of her sexuality.
Her mixture of songs from her debut, Queen of the Clouds, and her sophomore release, Lady Wood, was perfect. She gave the crowd everything they wanted from her singles, “Moments” and “Talking Body”, letting her fans take over on the choruses and jazzing up her newer tracks like, “Cool Girl” and “Vibes” with extended jamming from her Swedish bandmates. As she wound down her set, she was as energetic and vibrant as she was at the start.
As to be expected, Tove Lo came out for an encore and dropped her biggest hit of all, “Habits (Stay High)”, and needless to say everyone was into it and this being Washington, well, getting high was pretty much an assured thing. The buzz she created was amazing and Tove Lo did not disappoint. Such an honor and a privilege to get to see both Tove Lo and Phoebe Ryan rock the Emerald City together!