Concert Reviews

Lights with DCF at The Danforth Music Hall, CMW 2016

Photos by Dawn Hamilton.

“Mom’s don’t chug!” says the blushing Singer-Songwriter from Toronto as she had a cup of a wine in her hands answering questions from die-hard fans in the front row.

Light’s Acoustic Tour has officially begun and the young mom first date hit starts with a two night performance, May 2nd and May 3rd at her favorite city, Toronto. I caught Lights first show on May 2nd. The Pop singer played a sold out show at the Danforth Music Hall in right on Danforth Avenue in Toronto. With DCF opening, the night was just as magical as I expected it to be and one for the books. The hall, which was usually an open arena, was filled with seats, all elegantly aligned next to each other as the stage was set up with small lights that resemble small torches lit up. Small snacks were being served such as pop corn and hard drinks. The whole venue had an old musical vibe to it.

The night began with a performance by pop singer song-writer DCF. He opened his set with colorful acoustic versions of his songs off of his EP, Pop Songs (2014). Songs like “Put your name on it” and “John Cusack” got fans serenaded by the young 26 year old Torontonian. With a soft indie-esque voice, he sang a couple of covers through the out the night. Such as “Love Yourself” by Canadian pop singer, Justin Bieber. It happened to become the crowd’s favorite cover he did that night, everyone began singing the lyrics as he chuckled along “And If you like the way you look that much/Oh baby, you should go and love yourself.” The pop singer expressed how he wasn’t able to play many covers within his own shows and felt like this was a special and fun night for him to convey his love for some of his favorite artist by covering them. As well as the Justin Bieber cover, He also covered Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” off his record; Nothing Was The Same (2013). DFC ended the night with a song he wrote for his mother for this year’s upcoming family holiday, Mother’s Day.

After a semi-long intermission, Lights finally entered the stage and the audience stood in applause. She opened her set with an acoustic version of “River” off her album Acoustic (2010). The song itself was moving and memorizing. Around her, her band included her guitarist, pianist and drummer but also a small string ensemble which was quite different for this Electro-Pop singer. As an audience member, we were first to hear music off her new acoustic album, Midnight Machine (2016), which is the album she had rendition all of her songs off her third studio album, Little Machines (2014). As well as that, Lights took us down memory lane by playing” February Air” and” Drive My Soul” off her album debut studio album The Listening (2008). Both songs were one of my favorite songs of the night to hear because they were my introduction to Lights back in 2008. It was quite emotional hearing both songs live for the first time and around me I watched as others lit their lighters and waved them back and forth. The rendition to her most poppy songs was very incredible to hear live and how endearing and soft spoken the actual acoustic versions of the songs were. The night continued as Lights sang songs off her junior record, Little Machines (2014) and praising Toronto as she recalled some of her memories about living in the 6ix including writing her current album in Toronto. Before playing “Meteorites” Lights told the audience the story behind the song and how she was surrounded by an indigenous people and culture and had the opportunity to go swimming with them in a place far away from the city where she said she could “see the milky way so clearly.” She continued to enlighten the crowd with more words as she spoke about how making this album wasn’t as hard as she thought it was going to be and how it came all naturally to her. Through this whole set, I couldn’t help but think how versatile light’s vocal styling was. From her well known heavy electro- synth pop vocals, she really did surprise her fans with her more natural powerful, folk-like and melodious vocal performance. While performing her song “Suspension”, which is a intense electro-pop song, the transition to the song into an acoustic song was such a powerful change, Lights sang with passion and had a very dreamy engaging sound during the verses. It was one of my favorite songs during the night, all my previous impressions of who Lights was as an artist completely changed. One of the last songs she performed was “Banner” off her album Siberia (2011), which was nice to hear, as small throwback and hearing the audience sing along to every word. When encored back to stage, she ended the night with her song “Muscle Memory” off of Little Machines (2014). With her entire band, playing along, she ended off the song with a roaring chorus sing along as one by one her band members left the stage and she was left alone on the stage as the audience sang along with her.

What a magical and dreamy night. I hope the second show’s performance is just as memorable! 

About author

Maryam Said is freelance writer for two music blogs as well as a musician. Big fan of potatoes and Alternative rock. Follow Maryam on twitter : @mmmshadows