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Solange is near-perfect at the Danforth Music Hall

Posted by Jesse Ship / February 24, 2013

SolangeMeeting up with friends outside the Danforth Music Hall before Solange's Friday night show, it quickly dawned on me that she's every ounce the gay icon that her sister is. I knew from Facebook that the girls would be dressing up, but, wow, this was possibly the best dressed crowd — male and female — that the venue's ever seen. As one friend noted "Solange was our underground Knowles; we've been keeping her sandcastles afloat for years."

The cavernous sloping venue was almost at capacity, awash with the scent of shea butter and coconut oil, emanating perhaps from Solange and her two back up singer's sizeable afros that put even mine to shame.

SolangeThere was no doubt that she would play all the songs off her 'True' EP in a calculated hour long set. The teaser of an album has been a defining moment in her career as she exits from palatable commercial-enthused pop to a niche future-of-R&B-sound. She's not exactly all grow'd up but she's definitely earning her indie cheetah spots with a little help from her producer Blood Orange a.k.a. Dev Hynes a.k.a. Lightspeed Champion, who, clad in a paisley suit and pant combo, accompanied her on guitar and vocals.

SolangeBy her side, my photographer spied three bottles of water, a cup of tea and a lonely beer bottle. I wonder if she brought the tea from her dressing room or if she had a handler brew it especially for her, waiting at her pedestal. Was the beer just for cred? Divas and their riders!

SolangeSolange opened the night up with "Some Things Never Seem to Fucking Work," swaying to herself in a 70s cubist-styled dress that held tightly to her body without shedding a single square centimeter of skin from her ankles upwards. The crowd roared as she pigeon-toe strutted closer onto the stage (is she still learning to dance in heels?), eyes closed, just swaying to herself.

Other highlights included a tribute to the tragically murdered Mexican superstar Selena with "I Could Fall in Love," and "Losing You" the sultry album hit that got my Solange-curious self hooked.

SolangeFor her encore performance of "Sandcastles Disco" off her previous Mark Ronson produced album "Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams," she invited Phil Villeneuve, (Fab Magazine's current EIC) to strut his stuff along with her as a tribute to his viral pop star video series, which earlier saw him shake his stuff at Bay & Bloor along with Argos cheerleaders.

The party didn't stop at the concert hall. Riding home from Broadview station, I was entertained by a bow-tied dance mafia, blasting "True" from an iPhone and engaging with random TTC passengers, maybe hoping to be the next viral Solange sensation.

Additional Photos

SolangeSolangeSolangeSolangePhotos by Alejandro Santiago



TJ / February 24, 2013 at 11:25 am
She's a very beautiful young woman, but I don't care for the esperenza spalding look.
Jaki / February 24, 2013 at 11:39 am
Solange is amazing!!!..
a true star!*

not that there should be any competition... but here music and her voice is way better than her sisters.. Beyonce just knows how to shout more- and flash some skin.. Beyonce is ok in her own right..
Solange is way too underrated... and she should be more in the forefront of the music scene...
great review!.
that's my 2cents.!
Marmar / February 24, 2013 at 12:07 pm
Thank you! Now claimed she was a flat performer and it was boring. She is amazing and I think that is the last time Toronto will get to see her in a venue as intimate as the music hall
Jess / February 24, 2013 at 04:13 pm
@TJ, well no one cares for you backhanded complements.
Campaign for Hi-Fidelity / February 24, 2013 at 04:51 pm
Can you really "blast" sound out of an iPhone? Does anyone care about how music actually sounds (as it audio quality, not a comment on the quality of the music Solange makes, which is great), or is a blown-out tinny mess the best we can strive for these days?
Alejandra Borges / February 24, 2013 at 05:08 pm
There's more then enough room in this world for an artist like Beyonce and an artist like Solange. However, its great to be able to pay $20, listen to some great tunes and vibe a little, keeping it basic yet rewarding for everyone. Awesome show.
SCOTT HIGHET / February 24, 2013 at 10:14 pm
I like some Beyonce songs
asa replying to a comment from Jaki / February 25, 2013 at 05:21 am
she not underrated , but overrated and only gets a look because of her more talented older sister and her dad forcing her down everyone throat
JLL / February 25, 2013 at 11:05 am
So...we're just not going to mention the fact that she kept the crowd waiting for 3 hours, with nary an acknowledgement of this fact during her performance tho? The ticket said 7, she didn't walk on stage till 10, and her 20-minute opening act (that nobody knew about) didn't even walk on stage till 9pm, leaving a dead space of about 40 minutes in between.
Miss Kriss / February 25, 2013 at 11:24 am
Can we just talk about how awesome Dancing Phil is? Guy is a Toronto treasure.
skeeter / February 25, 2013 at 11:49 am
"By her side, my photographer spied three bottles of water, a cup of tea and a lonely beer bottle. I wonder if she brought the tea from her dressing room or if she had a handler brew it especially for her, waiting at her pedestal. Was the beer just for cred? Divas and their riders!"

You wonder about stupid things. Were you that bored at the concert??
lol replying to a comment from JLL / February 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm
have you ever been to a concert before? the doors at 7. the opening act at 830. main act at 10. pretty standard stuff. wipe your tears.
JLL replying to a comment from lol / February 25, 2013 at 04:18 pm
Standard my ass. I'm not one for encouraging lowered expectations. Were you there? Her "opening act" didn't introduce herself, and then pulled a Randy Watson and left the stage with no warning, leaving more than a few in the audience to say "um, was she done?"

There wasn't even a DJ- if you don't plan on showing up at 7, feel free to put down 9 on the ticket, so we won't stand around for 2 hours listening to someone's iPod playlist over the speakers in a place with no re-entry and standing-room only.
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