Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale
Wednesday, October 12
Better Than: Singing at the top of your lungs and dancing around your apartment to the band's entire discography.
Maja Ivarsson is one hot ass bitch. There is no denying that. But there isn't any smoke or mirrors -- or auto-tune -- when it comes to her talent and last night's high energy performance at Culture Room proved just that.
The house lights went dim and only the stage was illuminated in blue, the slow minute long intro to "It's So Easy" crooned through the speakers adding to the already hyped up crowd's anxiousness. One by one the band members took the stage and as the beat sped up, the Swedish goddess appeared from the darkness in a black mini dress, cigarette in hand, and her signature blonde 'do. The crowd went absolutely bananas. Literally, b-a-n-a-n-a-s like Rachel Zoe at a couture fashion show.
Barely taking a breath, the band went right into "Dance with the Devil",
Maja danced robotically around the stage to the intro while guitarist
Félix Rodríguez had the entire room chanting the word "one" protest
style. Wide-eyed female fans gazed adoringly at the blonde singer like she was John Lennon. It was clear that we were in the Church of the Sounds and Maja Ivarsson was the priest. After seamlessly moving into "No One Sleeps When I'm Awake", Maja finally greeted the frenzied crowd in her surprisingly boisterous accented voice.
"Fucken A, you guys are fucking pumped. Let's keep this party going. Here's an old one!" yelled the blonde bombshell.
Within seconds of hearing the first few riffs of "Queen of Apology" the crowd began to immediately sing/shout on cue along with Maja, never missing a lyric. This was what the audience was waiting for and Maja knew it. In her 4 inch black peep-toe heels, the singer ran from corner to corner of the stage crouching down into the crowd with the microphone. Surprisingly, the fanatical audience beneath her remained respectful to the pixie new wave goddess as she dipped down to hug and shake hands with various sweaty concertgoers.
Although this tour is in support of the recently released album Something to Die For, the Sounds delivered a healthy portion of tracks from its earlier discography including "7 Days a Week", "Hurt You", and "Ego". As her adoring fans hung on every word that came from her mouth, she
returned the favor by occasionally spitting on them and throwing out the
middle finger. She's lewd in the way she dances and grinds on the microphone pole, but it works with her "I don't give a fuck" attitude. Naturally, it would be easy for a commanding frontwoman like Ivarsson to steal
the show, and despite the constant attention from the fans, there is an unspoken adoration between the singer and her fellow bandmates. Throughout the set she danced alongside Félix Rodríguez and Jesper Anderberg lovingly, which could have easily been a calculated move, but you would never know it.
After a rip roaring non-stop first half, the band left the stage except for Maja who lit a cigarette and sat down on the drum platform. Just like at any other concert during a ballad, the crowd raised lighters in the air and swayed their arms back and forth as they sang along to the chorus of "Night After Night". However, this was the first and last slowed down moment of the 90-minute set that quickly accelerated into the synth heavy "Better Off Dead". Maja strutted around the stage -- occasionally dropping it like it's hot -- as she encouraged the crowd to clap along with the keyboard breakdowns. Following a few newer tracks, the Sounds fed the hungry sharks with anthemic favorites "Painted By Numbers" and "Living in America" and disappeared into the night with the crowd chanting "encore encore".
It was only a matter a seconds before the band re-appeared to perform golden oldie "Tony the Beat". Despite her sweaty appearance there wasn't one sign of exhaustion on the
32-year old singer's face as she swung the microphone in the air and crawled along the stage. Closing the set with "Hope You're Happy Now" was fitting and the band exited while the crowd prayed for "just one more song".
Personal Bias: Maja Ivarsson is my #1 girl crush.
The Crowd: Lots of girls, a couple who couldn't stop making out, guys with pretty hair, and a Jersey Shore looking dude who stood up front and didn't miss a single lyric.
Overheard: "I love you Maja." (several times)
Random Detail: The Sounds set list for the show was named "Retirement Home Florida".
It's So Easy
Dance with the Devil
No One Sleeps When I'm Awake
Queen of Apology
The No No Song
7 Days a Week
Yeah Yeah Yeah
Night After Night
Better Off Dead
4-Songs & a Fight
Something to Die For
Painted By Numbers
Living in America
Tony the Beat
Hope You're Happy Now