LÉON enthralls Belasco Theater crowd

Currently, there’s an abundance of indie pop singers trying to make it to the next level. It’s all about trying to separate yourself from the pack. Swedish indie pop singer LÉON proved Sunday at The Belasco she has the performance ability to take things far.

Touring in support of the debut self-titled album she dropped back in March, LÉON came dressed in what my +1 on Sunday called “country club chic.” She really knew how to class things up. There was a definite throwback feel to her aesthetic. The crowd got into things right away when LÉON kicked her show off with “Lost Time”, backed up by a three-piece band.

On “Baby Don’t Talk”, the crowd dutifully sang the “wooooos” when LÉON pointed the microphone their way. Throughout the show, you could tell the 26-year-old Stockholm-born singer was flattered by the response. The crowd gave her a massive ovation just a couple songs into the set and LÉON beamed with joy.

There’s a bit of a ’90s synthpop feel to some of the tunes — in the vein of Donna Lewis’ “I Love You Always Forever”. I felt this most notably on “Better In The Shadows” with its big electronic drums. Another highlight of the show came when LÉON mashed up her song “Body” with the Fleetwood Mac classic “Dreams”. She previously recorded the cover for Spotify Singles. It’s the second time in a few weeks I’ve heard the song covered by a powerhouse vocalist (Lissie being the other one).

LÉON owned the stage and remarked how the Sunday night crowd was partying like it was a Friday night. Perhaps that’s because so many people in LA don’t partake in the usual 9-to-5 rat race. But she not only owned the stage, but owned the floor in front of it as well. On “Come Home To Me”, she descended into the crowd to sing to them on their level.

The only awkwardness came whenever LÉON tried to explain the heartbreak behind the songs. She seemed a little nervous when recounting the super personal details behind some of her ballads. On “Pink”, she explained how she actually name dropped the girl Stephanie she was annoyed by and seemed a little flustered. When it came time to sing the song, she blew everyone away.

She seems poised to break out amongst the crowded indie pop genre and has the live performance chops to back it up. Don’t miss her next time she comes around.

Words by Mark Ortega
Photos by Betsy Martinez