Singer-songwriter Ruth B. performed May 23 at The Foundry at The Fillmore as a part of her “Safe Haven Tour: Part I.”
She showcased her amazing vocals and melodic craft for the intimate crowd gathered to see her. This is her first headlining tour after previously opening for fellow Canadian Alessia Cara last year.
Originally from Alberta, Canada, Ruth was discovered on the social media platform Vine. She broke into the radio waves last spring with her song “Lost Boy.” Ruth recently won Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the Juno Awards.
Her show was opened by Davie, a producer and songwriter from Los Angeles. His music had elements of R&B, funk and soul. He played an energetic set that got the crowd moving and singing along.
After Davie, Ruth B took the stage for her set. The 21-year-old brought her soulful sound to life on The Foundry stage. She performed songs from her debut album, “Safe Haven,” which was released May 5.
She started with her song “Mixed Signals.” She began offstage, instantly commanding attention by her voice. And what a voice it was. Her sound was smooth and soulful while still feeling delicate.
Her performance of “World War 3” showed off her head voice over dark, smokey instrumentals. The song effectively created the atmosphere behind the metaphorical lyric, “You meant the world to me/ Then you went World War 3.”
The songs then took a lighter tone, capturing the happy beginnings of a relationship. “In My Dreams,” which was featured in the show “Once Upon a Time,” built dynamically as the song progressed. The lift into the last chorus exhaled euphoria brought on by the prospects of love at first sight.
“Dandelions” is one of the strongest tracks on her album. In the live performance, it really highlighted her vocal flexibility in the melismatic chorus. She chose to perform “Young” just accompanied by the keyboardist. Compared to the studio version, it lacked that sense of energy and urgency the driving beat gives it.
For the next part of the set, Ruth B. stepped behind the keyboard herself. You could tell that this was where she felt most comfortable as she performed “Golden” (a track from her EP, “The Intro”) and two more songs from “Safe Haven.”
The next two songs were probably the biggest highlights of her musical abilities. The first was “If This Is Love.” The song is a soulful and emotional tour-de-force.
It’s hard to say which is more impressive: the fact that she wrote it by herself or her inspiring performance of it. The second song was a cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You.” Many have attempted Ed Sheeran’s delivery on the track, but Ruth reimagined the track with her own flavor. Giving the song a stronger R&B flair and tighter groove, this song was a showcase for her knack for melodic lines. She kept Sheeran’s lyrics, but delivered all new melodies, claiming the performance as her own. If you are a fan of the song, be sure to check out the video of this cover on her Vevo page.
She closed the show with performances of her two singles. It was obvious the crowd had been anticipating “Lost Boy,” as they sang along to every word. “Superficial Love” brought the show to a fun and bouncy end.
The biggest takeaway from the show was how genuine the budding star is. After she finished up her performance, she stuck around to meet her fans and take pictures with them. Ruth B. shows a deep connection to her music and a true appreciation of her fans.