Indie pop singer Leon stopped at The Foundry Oct. 28 for her “Surround Me” tour, supported by singer-songwriter Wrabel. The two previously toured together last year at World Cafe Live, and since then both have released successful EPs while continuing to grow as artists. Leon’s most recent EP, “Surround Me,” features a song with Wrabel that they wrote together.
If you haven’t heard of Wrabel, then you may recognize his voice from Afrojack’s remix of “Ten Feet Tall,” which he originally wrote and released as a piano ballad. Wrabel is a quirky hipster straight out of Los Angeles that encompasses an incredible voice and notable songwriting ability. To start off the night, Wrabel came out onto the stage in an oversized, unbuttoned dark coat with a funky design on his shirt underneath it.
He instantly gave off this eccentric and charming presence that the audience adored. Before singing anything, he casually introduced himself and made natural conversation with people in the crowd. He performed “We Could Be Beautiful” first, with the only accompaniment being himself on the piano, and quickly impressed everyone with his raw and astounding vocals. Next, he began playing piano to his song “Ritual,” and he spoke about his passion for the lyrics in a way that connected with the audience on an emotional level. He did the same for “The Village,” except this time he began tearing up, truly exhibiting the genuine and heartfelt thought that he puts into writing his music which he portrayed throughout his performance.
He saved his most popular song, “11 Blocks,” to perform second to last. Most of the crowd recognized the song and sang along, especially during the catchy chorus which is one that easily gets stuck in your head. Overall, Wrabel was one of the best opening acts I have seen, as he wore his heart on his sleeves singing every song so passionately while sounding amazing doing so.
Lotta Lindgren is the Swedish singer-songwriter behind the artist Leon. She first gained popularity from releasing her song “Tired of Talking” on SoundCloud without much intention; to her surprise the track blew up and led to her signing with Columbia Records. Her sound resembles a refreshing combination of Lana Del Rey and Dua Lipa with a hint of soul. From the moment Leon stepped onto the stage, she had such a likeable and humble personality that made everyone idolize her.
She made a few little jokes and complimented random people in the audience, making everyone feel welcomed and ecstatic to be at the show. To begin her set, she performed one of her more upbeat tracks, “Treasure,” from her first EP. This brought the energy level to a new high, creating a lively ambiance. She kept this vibe as “Body,” “Nobody Cares” and “Sleep Deprived” followed.
Her ability to maintain so much energy while expressing her fascinating vocals was remarkable. After this, she took the time to explain the story behind one of her slower and heavy-hearted songs, “No Goodbyes.” The next song, “Liar,” was by far one of her most impressive performances vocally. This combined with the emotionally-rich lyrics had the entire crowd mesmerized. “Think About You,” one of her more popular songs, is that song everyone can relate to, which was apparent as the whole audience swayed and sang along.
A few songs later, she welcomed back Wrabel to the stage to perform “Surround Me” together. They both joked how it was ironic that their first song together wasn’t a sad song, and how it was one of the few happier songs either of them had written. This performance blew me away; the two powerful voices sounded phenomenal together. Everyone in the audience was on their feet dancing along, enjoying every second.
After Wrabel left the stage, Leon mentioned that she had one more song to end the night, which everyone had been waiting for. As soon as the first few beats of “Tired of Talking” played, everyone cheered and began to sing along to every word. “Surround Me” and “Tired of Talking” were by far the most exhilarating performances of the night; the type that you just couldn’t help but smile, sing along and enjoy yourself.
Overall, the night exceeded my expectations, and Leon had one of the most impressive voices I have witnessed live. With that being said, I have to agree with Katy Perry and the many other pop stars who have said Leon is most definitely one to watch.