From the moment Elly Jackson began singing the intro to “Let Me Down Gently,” the sound at the Commodore Ballroom, the stage backdrop on that Thursday night, her delighted fans, and her signature coiffe set the tone for the first show on La Roux’s Pan American Tour. And she did not disappoint.
With stage lighting as colourful as a box of crayons, the cheers began to roar for Jackson and her four piece band, especially during a pause on the opening track. For fans, it has been a long wait to see Jackson back on stage touring a new album. La Roux’s Vancouver stop on Thursday was the first in an eleven city tour, which ends in New York on October 4.
The Grammy winning artist’s first album, La Roux, was released in 2009. Her new album, Trouble in Paradise, came out earlier this summer after a change in La Roux’s original line up. But the wait was over, and Jackson return to the West Coast brought dance, synthesizers, and an overall 1980’s vibe that energized the crowd.
“It’s nice to be back in Canada,” said the English synthpop artist. Jackson, who is very active on social media, posted photos her visiting the Vancouver Aquarium the day before the show, and event retweets fans photos. She shows sincere love for her fans, as she sang and danced at the Commodore, often holding their hands as many sang along with each word.
The fans go wild with the intro of her 2009 hit single “In it for the Kill”, especially as Jackson dances from one side of the stage to the other. The vocal crowd, of mixed ages, screamed and cheered loudly on a silent break between “I’m Not Your Toy” and “Tropical Chancer”. All the dancing and lights lead to Jackson telling her fans, “I’m really hot,” to which a fan behind me yelled, “Yes, you are.”
At one point, a young woman ran from the side of the stage and hugged Jackson very swiftly. “Somebody loves me,” Jackson said smiling, as security scrambled on stage.
La Roux ended the show with two of her classics: “Tigerlily” and “Bulletproof”, and the entire crowd danced and sang words at the top of their lungs. And as the music stopped, the band linked up like the end of a theatrical play, and bowed to the fans- some of whom got to speak to Jackson before she left the stage.
In all, the 13-song set was a satisfying mix of new and old tracks for the fans, and La Roux’s stage charisma kept the energy levels high all night. And the five year wait for the new material, it was very much worth it.