The first words to come out of my mouth after Swedish pop singer Tove Lo finished her 24-song (!!) tour-opening set at Marathon Music Works were “she did the damn thing.”
Monday, February 3rd kicked off the Sunshine Kitty Tour, named for Lo’s 2019 album of the same name. With support from frequent collaborator ALMA, the “Habits” singer set the bar high for the rest of her tour dates. (She has since fractured her ankle and is now performing from a throne à la Dave Grohl a few years back. Probably because she gives it all at these shows.)
Kicking things off with lead single “Glad He’s Gone,” Lo immediately commanded the attention and energy of an ecstatic audience. This and the following four songs — second single “Bad as the Boys,” the Gone Girl-referencing “Cool Girl,” Sunshine Kitty cut “Shifted,” and Lady Wood single “Influence” — followed breathlessly after one another. Lo made the bold decision to deny both the audience and herself a chance to get their breath between these hard hitters. “Cool Girl” specifically worked well in this suite, prompting some of the loudest screams I heard for the whole show (and for good reason, as its one of her best songs).
After “Influence,” Lo finally took a break to address the crowd, thanking us for attending the opening night of her tour. She then proceeded to warn us about the next section of the show which she dubbed the “dance section.” And she was certainly right, powering through 6 of her most frenetic tracks, including the Kylie Minogue-featuring “Really Don’t Like U,” hit “Talking Body,” and (in my objective opinion) the greatest song of all time, “disco tits.”
Throughout the remainder of her extensive set (reminder: 24 songs), the Swedish songstress treated fans to an eclectic mix of more bangers and emotional, subdued ballads. Particular standouts included never-before-performed Blue Lips cut “9th of October,” fan favorite “hey you got drugs?” and “bitches,” with ALMA coming back out to help with the latter. From colossal singles to criminally underrated deep cuts, Lo made sure to tackle seemingly her entire discography.
As she left the stage to 2014’s “Out of Mind” — which she hasn’t performed in five years — it was clear Tove Lo was not done with us yet. And sure enough, after a brief absence, she triumphantly returned to the stage for a thrilling encore of “Sweettalk My Heart,” “Habits (Stay High),” and the live debut of her brand-new single “Bikini Porn.”
Overall, this show felt like a victory lap of sorts. Tove Lo, for whatever reason, hasn’t been able to replicate the success of “Habits” and “Talking Body” in subsequent albums despite her music arguably only getting better. If her show proved anything, it’s that she isn’t remotely bothered by this. Much like frequent collaborator Charli XCX, Lo and her fans don’t need validation from mainstream pop listeners.
They know she’s killing it.