Serena Ryder at the Danforth Music Hall

Canadian songstress Serena Ryder ended her tour in Toronto with back to back shows. Live in Limbo was there covering the first night, along side a video crew who where filming the performance for an upcoming special. It made the evening feel a bit more grandios with the exceptional lighting not generally associated with most acts that play at the Danforth Music Hall.

She opened her 16 song set with the ever popular song “Stompa”. To put into perspective her clout, country music artist Tim Hicks did a cover of this song.

The overall music production that evening left me extremely impressed. The backing vocals were a perfect accompaniment to her strong vocals. The band seemed to be really enjoying the moment and dancing about. Strong musicianship was evident with this bunch.

Part way through the set Serena performed 3 songs acoustically. Setting the mood the stage hands brought out a chair, table and lamp. She performed “Sister of Mercy” a cover from Leonard Cohen, “It’s No Mistake” and lastly “Weak in the Knees” where the band re-emerged half way through the song. This part of the show really showed off her talents, not only vocally but musically as well. She requested from the audience to “make stars” with their phones, and they happily obliged.

With the beginning of “Weak in the Knees” came an marriage proposal that Serena spotted in the audience. She asked if the answer was a yes, but didn’t really pursue the answer further. She did take that opportunity as a segway to the song saying here’s a little love song for the love birds.

With Christmas just days away, she took the opportunity to sing “Calling to Say Merry Christmas”.

Serena announced before performing “Got your Number” that she found out the night before that the single reached gold status. The crowd cheered in appreciation.

What stood out to me that evening was how strong her vocals were live. It’s not a bi product of album production or auto tune, she is the real deal.

A show well worth seeing.