Photographs by Dawn Hamilton
The Lady Wood Tour makes a stop in Toronto at the Massey Hall leaving everyone who attended feeling more sexually confused than ever. Supporting the Swedish pop star on her North American tour was Phoebe Ryan, a singer-songwriter hailing from Red Bank, New Jersey.
NYU alumni, Phoebe Ryan opened her set with her previous single “Chronic.” Ryan danced around the stage while introducing herself. As the song concluded, the New Jersey native told the audience story of how she and Tove Lo met. She had met Tove Lo at her house and offered her jell-o shots that she had hid in her pockets from a previous party she was attending before making her way to Lo’s home. “ And she ate them! And that’s how you know you have made a real friend ladies and gents!” she laughed as she introduced her next song. Making sure to perform her well-known cover mashup, “Ignition/Do You”, the mash up had the audience thrilled and singing along as they jumped around. Closing her set with her latest single “Dark Side” a song with spooky lyrics with a contrasting beat, the 26 year old quickly exited the stage.
Tove Lo began her set with a dramatic curtain fall set up by her touring crew; transforming the old historic stage of the Massey Hall into a dance hall. Opening with “True Disaster” an 80’s themed song, Lo sported her own merch wearing neon orange joggers with “Lady Wood” printed on the back and a neon green cropped t-shirt. Performing for an hour and half, the young Swedish singer-songwriter kept the crowd more engaged than ever, there was never a dull moment during her time on stage. This included her sensual dancing, which during one point of the night, she flashed the crowd and giggled. I definitely didn’t expect that. To clarify, Tove Lo is punk rock. The sensual and erotic themes continued to play through the night. She performed fan favorites like “Influences”, “Lady Wood” and a slow ballad called “Imaginary Friend” in which she brought out her keyboard for a stripped down version. One of my favorites of the night was off her latest record, Lady Wood (2017) called “Vibes” which she performed with her touring guitarist. The song created a cool vocal dynamic. Very Vibey. Closing her set with an encore performance of “Cool Girl” and her billboard hit, “Habits (Stay High)” Tove Lo went through one more outfit change, wearing overall shorts and a cool sheer top with a sequin bomber jacket. Before concluding her performance, the songwriter smiled and handed out high fives to eager hands of audience members who were near the stage. The highlight of the show was watching everyone sing along to “Stay High.”