The first show of any new tour is usually a way for an artist to get out the jitters, fix the kinks and figure what works and what doesn’t for the rest of the show dates.
For Tove Lo, those mistakes were few and far in between when she kicked off her Sunshine Kitty Tour in Nashville on Monday. The way she pranced around on the Marathon Music Works stage, and made seamless transition from track to track, it almost seemed that the tour had already been in full swing.
In reality, the only noticeable snafu came when Tove Lo stopped the show herself. Midway through 2018’s “hey you got drugs?” she halted her band and paused the performance in front of the nearly sold-out crowd, stating that the really “fully feel” the song, before restarting the track.
Even when imperfect on that first try, it’s examples of why Monday’s performance felt genuinely authentic. There is no hiding Tove Lo’s personality, as she bears all in her music, from her sexuality, her dealings with love and relationships to experiencing her highs and lows in life.
That’s what makes Tove Lo, Tove Lo. She’s not flawless and she accepts that, even when it comes to her live show.
While sitting at piano, she addressed the crowd, about to perform an early track, 2014’s “Not on drugs.” That break, was one of the few slower moments in 24-track performance that was filled tracks that had the bass bumping, lights flashing and making the crowd feel like it was at one of the biggest night clubs in world.
“One thing that’s really important to me whenever we put together a tour, is that I want there to be an amazing light show,” Tove Lo said. “I want the lights to follow the songs so you feel it. You know there are songs that you listen to and you feel them from the stage as well. But, it can’t be too professional or perfect because then I get little uncomfortable. It has to feel free.”
That freedom of expression is exactly what made Monday night’s show so special. Sure, there may have been a preplanned list of songs, and lights were choreographed, but at the same time, it felt very in the moment, and she was letting the music dictate how the night played out.
After opening her night with six tracks off her newest album which shares the name of the tour, Tove Lo it fans with a longtime crowd favorite. As the notes of “Jacques” played, there was no stoppage, as she immediately headed into “Talking Body,” a lustful track that intensified the energy in the room.
One of the highlights during the nearly two-hour performance came when Tove Lo was joined on stage by opener ALMA. The pair share a track on “Sunshine Kitty,” titled “Bad as the Boys.”
Rather than perform that song, Tove Lo brought ALMA on stage to perform “B---s.” The recorded track features Tove and ALMA, as well as Charli XCX and Icona Pop. Both performers carried the missing weight and made for a fun performance.
The majority of Monday’s performance focused on the new. So fittingly, the setlist closed with another first-time performance. After performing her debut single, “Habits (Stay High),” Tove Lo capped off the night with “Bikini Porn,” a new song that was produced by FINNEAS, which sent the crowd home on a high note.
Early into Monday’s set, Tove Lo was quick to point out, “There’s a lot more people here than when I last played here,” which was back in 2017 at the same venue. With two new records under her, that 2017 was nearly doubled on Monday night. Which leaves the question, when it’s time for her to come back to Music City, where will she brining the party?