On February 12 in New York City, Tove Lo danced so hard during a performance of “Talking Body” that she fractured her ankle. While most artists would cancel a couple dates, Tove saw it as an opportunity to claim her place among alt-pop royalty and began conducting her concerts from a golden throne.
Although the headliner’s on-stage movement was restricted and acclaimed opening act, fellow Scandinavian ALMA, couldn’t make it due to being trapped in a Minnesota snowstorm, the audience still came prepared to unleash their primal side to Tove’s blunt lyrics and pulsating house beats.
Still striding confidently as she first approached the mic in a walking boot, Tove sang recent singles “Glad He’s Gone” and “Bad As The Boys,” relatable pop anthems about the trials and tribulations of a frenzied summer dating lifestyle, standing up before reclining in her throne as the beats got sleazier.
Of course, countless pop stars over the years have used sexuality to their advantage, but Tove Lo is completely shameless about it in a way that nobody else can quite measure up to.
For that reason, Tove languishing and writhing around on her throne in every pose imaginable as the extravagant light show flashed everywhere but her face honestly added another dimension to the experience of her lyrics, as if she was daring the audience to jump on stage and come get her.
“As you can see, I had a little situation last week,” she said after the Gone Girl-inspired “Cool Girl.”
“This is Bloaty,” she said, raising her boot. “She’s a little bitch, but the show must go on.”
Tove went on to explain that the forthcoming section of tracks had always been designated the “Dance Section” of the show, and that the audience would have to do the dancing for her. But for someone who couldn’t move their feet all that much, Tove Lo still put everything she had into dancing on stage – it’s good to know she can still twerk with a fractured ankle.
For most of the show, she was joined by a single, absolutely spastic dancer wearing a white shirt emblazoned with the Sunshine Kitty character that inspired her latest album – a bright yellow cartoon cat with the design of female genitalia on its chest resembling an X-rated Care Bear.
During the back-to-back French house-inspired tracks “Are U Gonna Tell Her” and “Jacques,” his movements really fired the crowd up for the first time. Things only got sweatier from there.
Tove Lo has been known to flash the audience during “Talking Body” at every show, and the synth-heavy house remix of the track that was played only made audience members want to respond in kind. Many threw their own clothing on the stage during the aptly titled track “Disco Tits,” which received the biggest cheer of the night and came accompanied by some trippy visuals as a litany of eyes blinked behind her.
Finally calming things down near the end of the show, a red keyboard was brought out on stage.
“I’m not a good piano player, but I’m a good writer, so it works out fine,” Tove said before playing “Moments,” a song about self-love in reaction to online criticism of her looks.
As the audience cheered at the notion of paying the trolls little attention, Tove beamed “I’m happy that’s your reaction, because that’s what I did!”
The track led into “Hey You Got Drugs?” which just might be the emotional crown jewel of her entire catalogue. Tove Lo simply stood still at the mic, but it was all she needed, her impressive vocal moments doing all the work as she lamented a relationship gone wrong.
Returning for the encore, someone handed Tove an inflatable unicorn, which she cradled gently during her biggest hit “Habits (Stay High),” before placing it triumphantly on her throne.
The Vogue Theatre was a haven for the free-spirited on Sunday night, and Tove certainly powered through her injury to showcase some impressive range.