Zara Larsson played two dates in the U.K. in May as part of her ‘Don’t Worry Bout Me’ Tour, the first in Manchester on the 21st, and the second at the legendary Electric Brixton. The lines waiting to get into the venue were massive, and testimony to the pulling power of the singer who has only been in the public eye outside her native Sweden and greater Scandinavia since 2013.
Once inside, the audience were treated to the support of Swedish duo Lennixx, the blonde member of the pair seeming somewhat familiar as they sang, and danced in their thigh high boots. This was for good reason, as the pair comprise Hanna Larsson and Andrea Kallström, Hanna of course being the younger sister of Zara. They’re making a name for themselves away from Zara, having signed to TEN Music and gaining a reputation for their urban pop sound.
Following Lennixx, Zara came on stage with a rousing rendition of ‘Symphony’, one of her better known recordings, which she released with Clean Bandit, which she followed up with the gloriously catchy, ‘I Would Like’. Dressed in a yellow crop top and pants set, she gave the capacity crowd what they wanted: strong, soaring, vocals, supported by a live band. It was perhaps a little crowded with the addition of dancers as well as Larsson, her backing vocalists and band, but this setup might work better on a larger stage.
Larsson’s high energy performance was enhanced by the use of a wind machine, which ensured her blonde bob kept swaying throughout her performance of ‘This One’s For You’, on which she had collaborated with David Guetta. It led in nicely to the fourth song of the night, ‘Don’t Worry Bout Me’, which also provided the title of the tour. She explained that the track was about being over someone but they’re not yet over you: deeply personal and introspective, it’s one of the tracks from her next album.
‘Carry You Home’ has a real folky vibe, and there were more than a few audible gasps when we realised the track contains elements of ‘Wake Me Up’, by her late compatriot, Avicii. It brought a temporarily sober vibe to the show, which she shook out of us with the next two songs, ‘TG4M’ and ‘Wanna’; the dancers returned to the stage, and the upbeat rhythms were restored.
Zara Larsson has an incredible voice, and she demonstrated her range to full effect during the show, at one point sitting down so as to regain her breath and allow her to get maximum energy for her high notes. With ‘So Good’ we couldn’t help but muse that Zara could possibly be a future candidate for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest, with her slick, pure pop performance, and her vocals – so good so good so good. A high octane performance of ‘All The Time’, another track which will feature on her new album, was followed in quick succession by ‘Uncover’, and ‘I Can’t Fall In Love Without You’, which had the audience chanting the chorus.
The crowd at Electric Brixton was all ages, from the young to the very old, and all ages in between. There was also a nice gender balance as well, which made for a great atmosphere. By the time Larsson sang ‘Ruin My Life’, the fans were settled in for the night and had no intention of going home. But the night was drawing to a close, as Zara sang, ‘Ain’t My Fault’, which contained elements of ‘Girls’, and final “official” song, ‘Never Forget You’, yet another collaborative work, this time one which she had recorded with MNEK. Walking off stage, the audience knew it wasn’t ocer, and sure enough, Zara and the band returned, to perform ‘Wow’, and crowd favourite, ‘Lush Life’.
Altogether it was a grand night out, and for those who had travelled many miles to get to Brixton, a journey worth taking.
Zara Larsson’s ‘Don’t You Worry Bout Me’ tour continues with an appearance at the Capital Pride Concert in Washington DC on June 9, before she returns to tour in Europe. You can find out more information and ticket details on her official website.