Norwegian pop sensation Sigrid finally returned to the Fonda Theatre on Monday night, two-and-a-half years after her last show there in Los Angeles (in 2019). It was a welcome engagement for the singer-songwriter who only plays Brooklyn Steel on Wednesday night in New York, showcasing new music and getting back out there in front of her devoted fans who last saw her tour during the cycle from her debut Sucker Punch album.
Six of twelve of Sigrid’s new songs from forthcoming record How to Let Go made the set, including thrilling dance-pop bangers and delicate, heartfelt ballads. Sigrid looked very much like a model out of a 90s Gap ad in a simple white tank and blue jeans, wasting no time once she entered the stage, soaring on the stadium-ready pop groove of “In The Dark”. It is an inspiring rush of energy, perhaps her light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel ode to finding good out of the last two years in lockdown. She belted the words “the stars” and moved her hips during the instrumental moments, while multi-instrumentalist Liva Svaeren (on synth, guitar and vocals) had a standout moment, followed by a huge applause.
Sigrid yelled “LA” and went into another new tune, the danceable “Burning Bridges”, with Svaeren harmonizing with her as she danced with her fans, encouraging them to clap along, finally silhouetted dancing while whipping her hair.
“Hello everyone, we are so fucking excited to see you, thank you so much”, said Sigrid. “This is insane, I’m Sigrid and this is my band”. The band was flush in red for “Mine Right Now”, a tune from Sigrid’s 2018 debut. The new wave-y song got fans’ hands up and voices joining in on the chorus, with stellar vocal harmonies again from Svaeren. “It’s been ages since we have been here”, said Sigrid. “It’s been so much fun to be here. I did my very first collaboration in my whole entire life. It’s with Griff”. She went on to play the earworm “Head on Fire” with driving percussion from Kasper Waag, and Sigrid totally grooving while harmonizing with Svaeren.
“We haven’t done like a proper gig now in how long has it been, a couple of months? Since we’re here, it’s a special night and I do have an album coming out. We’ve been working on this album for quite some time and it’s coming in May. So why not play you a new song that no one has heard?” Mid-tempo “Dancer” took over with purple lighting with Sigrid balancing some belted notes with other pretty falsetto ones.
She played an older favorite, her debut album’s title track “Sucker Punch” with the arched visual lit up behind the musicians in green, as Sigrid worked the stage with maximum swagger. She raised her hands to the crowd during the delightful song to let them sing part of the chorus while her arms were swinging with glee.
Sigrid gave a cheers to her fans, lifting her cup, mentioning that it was lemon tea, and stepped over to the piano for the next one. “This is where I write all the songs”, said Sigrid. “Of course I’m a little nervous, I haven’t played in forever”. She played the chords for the beautiful ballad “Dynamite”, showing off a voice that is truly impressive, later encouraging fans to sing along and they did in a faint hum. It was an incredible piano moment coupled with Sigrid’s husky tone, shining throughout like her own version of “Landslide”.
She welcomed Liva Svaeran as the newest addition to the band, mentioning it was her first time in Los Angeles. “I don’t think I could have written this song before”, said Sigrid. “It’s about having your heart broken. It’s a lesson and I’m really glad I have this one”. She played new song “Mistake like You”, an epic, bluesy Elton John-like piano tune finding Sigrid whipping her hair back behind her head after the first chorus.
Next up was dance-pop song “A Driver Saved My Life”, which Sigrid described as “being on the road in the drivers’ seat and the music helps you”. All four musicians joined in on the vocal “save me, save me” with Sigrid, including guitarist Sondre Abrahamsen, Peder Kolsung on the keys, Waag and Svaeren. It definitely had Kylie Minogue vibes and kept the place moving.
Hands were up for the older feel-good favorite “High Five” while the crowd sang along, clapping on the bridge. The stage went from green to pink for “Plot Twist” with the crowd singing along for its entirety as Sigrid showed off her signature hip-shaking. Following the lively song, Sigrid said, “I don’t think I’ve had this much fun in a really long time”.
She talked about being in a writing session and not being respected early on in her career with nobody in the room liking her band references. She mentioned when she needs to pump herself up she plays the song that started it all, “Don’t Kill My Vibe”. The bounce to the song brought a tribal energy to the crowd who were very much into it, clapping during the final chorus buildup.
On “Never Mine”, the purple lights flashed with a strobe light as Abrahamsen had a brief guitar solo on the addicting synth-pop song. Sigrid introduced her band and danced it out on an extended instrumental.
The club-ready “Strangers” was preceded with a comment from Sigrid that it was “about to get serious guys”, with blue and red strobe lights flashing. The whole crowd sang in unison during the pulsating beats for an intense dance moment under the lights.
For her encore, Sigrid sang a new “song about growing up in Norway” called “Grow”, a beautiful, organic ballad with delicate vocals and acoustic guitar, blended with harmonies from Svaeren. It’s a timeless song with wonderful vocals and gorgeous harmonies from all five talents.
Dance-pop favorite “Don’t Feel Like Crying” brought some natural facial ticks and Sigrid swagger, as she was clearly psyched to be back on stage. The crowd’s hands were up while singing along. Sigrid closed the energetic night with the disco-pop smash “Mirror” while fans were dancing and singing. Sigrid jived across the stage like she was in a nightclub living her best life. She clapped for her crowd and her band at the end while her fans applauded and the five musicians joined arm-in-arm for two bows.
Singer-songwriter Carol Ades (formerly known as Caroline Pennell) played songs such as “Crying During Sex”, “Unlearn Me” and “Brunette Caroline”, opening for Sigrid.
Words by Michael Menachem
Photos by Justin Higuchi