On Friday, Feb. 17, LÉON came to the Rickshaw Stop. Jacob Banks, soulful British singer-songwriter, opened for the Swede, and the two put on a fantastic show. Between the low-key venue, the overly excited crowd and the phenomenal talent, the night was a total success.
Banks performed original songs from his EPs “The Monologue” and “The Paradox,” a few singles, and a reggae-infused cover of Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On” that had the entire audience singing along. His voice is insanely strong – perfect for belting out his jazzy, soulful ballads. I actually heard a few remarks from fellow audience members along the lines of “that was so good, we don’t even have to stay for LÉON.”
But stay for LÉON they did, and she made sure not to disappoint. The singer spent little to no time standing still on stage and had little to no ego up there. She kept up casual, not-overly-exhausted small talk with the crowd, including a discussion about her nervous boob sweat (to which she shouted with a hand to the sky, “You know what I’m talking about, ladies!”). And in that small, sweaty venue – we definitely did know (and feel) what she was talking about.
LÉON’s voice has something nostalgic about it – some sort of quality that reminds you of every beautiful love lost. Not in a sad way, though – rather, in a sort of celebratory and prideful way. She appears confident, courageous and just plain beautiful on stage as she dances around, capturing every audience member in her fantasy of a performance.
While her songs are considered “pop,” they’re much different than what I usually think of – Top 40, T-Swift, you know the deal. They’re more complex, more truthful, in a way. I felt like every song was a sort of diary entry, or window, through which I could catch a glimpse into this incredible storyteller’s life. The words were full of heart, but still fun. They were passionate, but sweetly so.
I haven’t turned off LÉON’s Spotify profile since going to her show, since her music can appeal to all music lovers, regardless of their usual genre of choice. Her talent is pure, as are her lyrics and performance. She has a sort of “girl next door” vibe going on. She’s the type of person you want to learn more about, and has a voice that will keep you listening to her songs, over and over again.