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After a two-year hiatus brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Swedish pop sensation Tove Lo (pronounced “Too-veh Lu”) is finally back in concert! Assisted by Phoebe Ryan, the two singers blessed The Observatory oc in Orange County with two back-to-back sold out shows. These two shows served as the warmup as Tove Lo readies herself for the full launch of her tour through the USA back to Europe down to Australia and back through Europe again. Considering it was her first live show in two years, I knew this was a special occasion that I couldn’t miss. Let’s jump into both sets of the night.

Opening the night was USA’s own Phoebe Ryan. The American singer hit the stage and warmed up the crowd as she sang over her electrifying beats. While I wasn’t familiar with much of her music, it’s safe to say she killed it and the crowd was really into her. She also opened for Tove Lo on her 2016 tour through the USA, which explains why fans in the building were very familiar with her catalog. She perfectly tee’d it up for the next set with her venue-shaking synthy pop vibes.

The venue lights dropped as anticipation for Tove Lo grew. Tove Lo’s Lady Wood vagina symbol behind the stage slowly illuminated as screaming fans welcomed her to the stage. Backed up by a live band, Tove Lo emerged with a bang. Working her hips all night long, Tove Lo put on an exhilarating performance. I was really impressed by the movement and non-stop dancing all set long. Some of the highlights were when she played her classic songs such as “Bad As The Boys” and “Talking Body”. She began to end the night on an extremely high note with her 2014 life-changing breakthrough single “Habits (Stay High)”. I have never experienced The Observatory liked this. Every fan in the venue sang along word for word and would not let her go after that one. After begging for an encore, the fans were rewarded with her new 2022 single “No One Dies From Love” as she finally thanked the crowd and bowed out for the night.  

These two sold out back-to-back nights in Santa Ana are a testament to Tove Lo’s cult following. Defying cultural norms, Tove Lo has garnered this following leaning into her sexuality and paving her own path with a grungier take on pop music. Onstage, Tove Lo stays in control and puts performance first. I cover a lot of shows and while I always enjoy them, this one put things in perspective. Tove Lo’s work ethic makes the competition look lazy. She puts 110% into her craft; in the studio and on the stage, and it really shows. Keep an eye out for her if she comes to a city near you! It’s a high energy show you do not want to miss.

Kris Kuganathan

Photojournalist - Orange County

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