Concert Reviews

St. Lucia at The Hoxton – January 23, 2014

In the urban wilds of Brooklyn, a young musician was about to unleash something extraordinary into your life. Originally from Johannesberg, Jean- Philip Grobler spent majority of his childhood singing with Drakensberg Boys Choir School which travelled and performed around the world. It wasn’t until his moved to the Big Apple where he began working on the tracks that would eventually land him a deal with Neon Gold Records.

When the Night is a modern pop record with an 80’s flavor. The album features a number of goodies including “Elevate”, “All Eyes on You” and “The Way You Remember Me”. Each track felt like an epiphany to something he discovered and was letting all his thoughts bare. You would never guess it was a solo project with all the complex arrangements and multi-layered vocals which sounds like nothing else on the radio. In 2013, St. Lucia opened up for artists such as Two Door Cinema and Ellie Goulding building anticipation for his 2014 When the Night Tour.

Opening the show were alt- pop rockers Sir Sly. The LA – based band brought the heat with their synth-rock tracks such as “Ghost” and “Gold”. It was a slow burn to for an opener but it didn’t dim the excitement for St. Lucia and his live band.

The stage was set up like a tropical hideaway with a multicoloured light design and Hawaiian theme curtains decorating the outside of their equipment. Grobler appeared in what looked like a Scotch and Soda original, as described in our recent episode of the Capsule podcast, kicked off the night with “The Night Comes Again”.  The energy in the room was high and the audience was fully engaged. Whether it was the jumping during “Elevate” or the hand- clapping for “Wait for Love”, it was clear Grobler had a powerful hold on Toronto.

The highlight for me was hearing the entire venue sing along to “September” and “We Got It Wrong”. But it was the stunning cover of Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody” that showcased Grobler impressive vocals. Overall St. Lucia dreamy shimmering sounds radiated the perfect vibes to chase those winter blues away. Grobler and his incredibly talented band established why St. Lucia should be on everybody’s radar for 2014.

Thanks to Embrace Presents for media access.

About author

Administrator by day, concert writer by night. When she isn’t writing reviews, Tashana often spends time exploring the city or is at home watching a good drama on television. You can check her out on Twitter @tbilley.