Concert Review: Arlo Parks, September 28, Queen Elizabeth Theatre


While live music has been making its return over the last several months, here in Toronto we’ve been much more cautious about jumping back into it. Sure, there’s been a few shows here and there, but up until just this month, indoor shows have been (understandably) pretty rare and concerts from international touring acts even more rare, with a large amount of acts choosing to postpone or outright cancel their Toronto dates. With all that in mind, it was indeed a pleasure to see British singer-songwriter Arlo Parks make her way to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre last night for her first ever Canadian show.

Following an energetic set by openers Michelle, Arlo Parks made her entrance, almost running onto the stage, her arms outstretched as if she were pretending to be an airplane (a move she would return to a few times throughout the night). With a soulful sound that has more than a hint of trip hop influence and personal sounding yet relatable lyrics, the songs off of Parks’ debut album Collapsed In Sunbeams translate quite well to the live setting. An assured performer, Parks had the crowd on her side from the get go and, for her part, also seemed quite stoked to be playing before the fairly packed house (or at least as packed as regulations will allow … which, to my mind, was still pretty packed).

Midway through the show Parks commented on the positive vibes in the room, noting that she felt “very welcome” in Toronto. But really, how could she not feel that way? Aside from the fact that she put on a great show, I think people were also just really happy to be at a show – any show. After more than a year and a half without much in the way of real concerts, a lot of people in this city are pretty hungry for live music. In fact, as I looked around and surveyed the audience, I noticed some pretty young faces in the crowd and wondered whether some of them might have been experiencing their first real show. If so, definitely not a bad way to start things off.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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