Concert Reviews

Clean Bandit with Zara Larsson at the Phoenix Concert Theatre

Photographs by Katrina Lat

The U.K.’s own Clean Bandit sold out the Phoenix on April 24th with Swedish singer, Zara Larsson.  Unfortunately, opening Australian act, Starley had her passport stolen in the States and was unable to get across the border in time for the show.

Zara started her set off with the 2016 hit ‘Lush Life’.  Sporting a white long t-shirt, black sparkly shorts and high knee pink boots, Larsson had four backup dancers accompanied her throughout the night.  She talked about how she had been to Toronto once before on the I Wish Tour with Fifth Harmony back in 2013.  Stating that all she remembers is Toronto being the craziest audience, which resulted in cheering from the crowd.

She kept the energy going as she made her way through each song, having the crowd sing and dance along the way.  With her album, ‘So Good’ just being released last month, the crowd knew majority of the songs she performed.  She remixed Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ with her own ‘Don’t Let Me Be Yours’ which was co-written with Sheeran as well.

If anything, Zara is a strong opening act and proved throughout her performance that she could easily headline in Toronto.  She ended her set with ‘Never Forget You’ and it was clear that the crowd did not want her to leave.

Just after 9:00p.m., the headliners, Clean Bandit took the stage.  They have been around since 2013, gaining much success in Europe and recently in North America with her single ‘Rockabye’ featuring Sean Paul.  They consist of three core members, Grace Chatto, Jack Patterson and Luke Patterson.  They usually tour with artists that has featured on their singles as the main singer for touring.

The atmosphere in the room was great – it felt like a giant dance party all night!  They went back and forth between two main singers for each track, while one sang the main parts and the other acting as a hype woman for the crowd.  They didn’t talk much between songs besides saying how much they loved coming to Toronto and asking if the crowd was enjoying themselves.

With their last album having been released in 2014 and the latest single topping the charts, they premiered a new song called ‘Should’ve Known Better’, which had a great reaction from the crowd.

The night did feel short, with missing an opener and Clean Bandit only having one album, they played for just over an hour.  They ended their set with bringing Zara Larsson out to sing their current single ‘Symphony’ and the encore included their Grammy award-winning song ‘Rather Be’.

Look out for the new Clean Bandit album to be released later this year.

About author

Concert reviewer at Live in Limbo.