written by Teyquil Skelton
Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson, professionally known as Tove Lo, is described as a Swedish dark-pop export, by Rolling Stone. She’s known for her grungy, raw, and gritty approach to pop music. In Philadelphia at the Fillmore, the saddest girl in Sweden left an imprint on the stage from her honest and sincere lyrical content that had her DNA all over it.
The night was electric, emotional, sensual, heartfelt, sexual, inviting, and bold. It was also a bit tearful, somber, charged, vulnerable, passionate and full of truth. Lo led the pack with her music and the crowd fearlessly followed. The audience sang along, recorded their favorite moments on their phones, screamed lyrics back to her, and created a sea of hand waves whenever she requested. The magic was prevalent in the room and Lo maintained the spark she possesses with each song she sang.
As the night proceeded, the stage was presented in a manner where it made sense in the world and mind of Tove Lo. Bright lights full of color, big drums, and wide open space for Lo to dance. Loud, artistic images made its appearance on the screen in the background as the smoke from the stage floor surrounded her stillness.
Lo had something to say and her fans were eager to hear and see how she would convey these experiences up close and personal. There were periods when the concert went from upbeat to slower tempo. One of the times it did was when Lo mentioned to the crowd that she would sing a song relating to love and the song was “Come Undone” that was well-received by the audience. Fans chimed in as they assisted her with the lyrics. Suddenly, the room temperature changed, and I felt the space become a therapeutic session as people merged in unification.
Tove Lo strikes me as one of those performers who really strives to make her work fun and she loves including her fans in on her journey. There was a moment when she jumped off stage and ran up to the audience to slap hands and sing to as many as she can face-to-face. The crowd ate it up and was super grateful that she took the risk in doing so.
Speaking of risks, Lo is the perfect example of someone who takes lots of them as she provocatively grabs her boobs and shakes them at the crowd. Bending over and slowly twisting her hips is quite an enticement that certainly captures the attention of thousands watching. Queen of the Clouds was Lo’s first headline tour back in 2014 and now that five years has past, Philly has come out to once again show massive support to the Swedish Queen of Stockholm, Sweden.
One of Lo’s mantras is this idea of never getting too professional or too perfect in her live performances or recording process. If it does, then it becomes a bit too structural and she prefers staying away from those kinds of confinements. All she wants is to have access to being and feeling free and it’s something that she continues to reach for not only for herself but for her fans as well. As Lo transitioned from one song to another, her single “Stay High” began and the lights changed colors. As the stage grew darker, it supported the mood she was creating with much stimulation, style, sexiness and seduction all wrapped up into one. The room itself was Tove Lo’s oyster and we, in the crowd, were fully engaged and submerged in her sea.
Whenever you can find an artist that holds that much power through their art, it’s possible to find a similar or same power that we all share. When that much empathy, vulnerability, honesty, anger, sadness and truth is acquired, it will always give you something to leave with and think about. Messengers come in all kinds of ways and as a performer of some sort, our job is to send out those messages through our own creative process and watch it reach someone in ways unimaginable.
This is just my own personal connection, and attending the Tove Lo show, I’ve discovered a message given to me through her music that we all suffer at one point or another, but we live to fight another day by dancing it off, crying it out, sleeping it off or meeting it head on and never backing down under any circumstance.
If you’re in a city/town that Tove Lo is coming to visit, I highly recommend you go and see her live. Pop music is fun, it’s danceable, relative and moving. However, Tove Lo also approaches pop music from a darker spectrum with loads of things that makes you go, hmmm. Her music hits square in the heart and the concerns she has living her own life may very well be relatable in yours. So give it a try and venture into new territories, you may just find that we all share a common theme in our versions of this imperfect path that we call life.