Norwegian superstar Sigrid hits Manchester on her latest tour in support of her fabulous second album, How To Let Go record.
Sigrid is a rare breed. She has been wowing audiences for many years on the live circuit. Her tour in support of How To Let Go has seen her rise up to larger venues, especially in Manchester. On her last tour, it was two sold out dates at Manchester Academy. Now, it is one almighty sold out date at the legendary Manchester Apollo.
Tommy Lefroy are the support and is the collective name for songwriters Wynter Bethel and Tessa Mouzourakis who bonded virtually during the COVID lockdowns to create their sumptuous music. The duo have so far released a good few singles and an album in the last few years. They fit perfectly with Sigrid on this tour – their indie pop is a little reminiscent of HAIM and First Aid Kit.
With Winter and Tessa both sporting electric guitars, the pair rattled through their set to great applause and admiration. ‘We’re Tommy Lefroy and we’re really happy to be here. It’s our second time here after a show at Gorilla last year.’ On this showing there will be more visits to Manchester as they will have walked away with plenty of new fans; us included.
Tessa, from Vancouver, and Winter, from Michigan seem genuinely won over by the receptiveness of the Manchester crowd. They dedicate Trashfire to an audience member who is celebrating a birthday. Ably backed by Lauren O’Donnell Anderson on drums and Seán Murray on drums, this is a celebration of great voices, great musicianship and great music.
‘Who’s excited to see Sigrid?’ garners obvious cheers before a brand new song in the form of Worst Case Kid. ‘This has been so fun…this is the last one…it’s about feminism,’ is an introduction met with great cheers as the band finish with Dog Eat Dog. During the show, the band mentioned that they are returning to Manchester in December…not long after the event, all the tickets have gone. I think Tommy Lefroy will be grabbing peoples attention far and wide for a long time.
With the support set in the bag, the atmosphere around the Apollo grew with some great music over the PA. Wannadies’ You and Me Song provides a good sing along in-between bands. Lizzo’s About Damn Time is given raised volume as the lights go down for the entrance of Sigrid.
Since appearing on the musical radar some 5/6 years ago, Sigrid has grafted and risen to prominence due to her amazing song writing and wonderful live shows. Bringing a distinct energy and buzz, Sigrid naturally plays many of the songs from her latest album with It Get’s Dark opening the show. Immediately, her band are tight, and boy, can Sigrid sing. Not for the first time, the crescendo of the song raises the roof with a blazing guitar solo from Sondre Abrahamsen and the aforementioned talent of Sigrid and her voice.
‘Sigrid! Sigrid! Sigrid!’ is the crowd chant before the punchy Burning Bridges keeps the momentum flying after a tickertape explosion that bathes the crowd. ‘Let’s hear it…’ requests Sigrid as the crowd adhere to her request.
The ovation at the end of the song is massive. ‘It’s massive in ‘ere…what a room!’ says Sigrid with her unique youthful charm. Clearly buzzing, the early run of new songs is punctuated by one of Sigrid’s massive hits from her first album; Sucker Punch.
‘It makes me happy to see you singing and dancing along…this is a sad one…sorry! This is Thank Me Later.’ Whilst the topic of loss are deep and ‘sad’ the music is joyfully uplifting. This juxtaposition is something that Sigrid is incredibly adept at. You can look at many of Sigrid’s compositions and notice a melancholy in the lyrics, but the music sends you the other way.
‘How are you? It’s a lot to take in playing this legendary venue.’ Sigrid then regales the crowd with an anecdote about playing Manchester Albert Hall and that at that time she was just about to share demos of her first album with her band. With this, the endearment grows as she says that Manchester has a special place in their hearts.
Recent collaboration with English singer and songwriter Griff gives off club vibes as she shares vocals with bassist Liva Sværen. Another return to the debut album in Dynamite starts a two song, ‘cosy’ part of the set.
Now, if you weren’t bowled over by Sigrid’s talent already, to see her bat out a couple of tunes at the piano was an absolute honour to witness, in particular, her collaboration with recently announced Download Festival 2023 headliners, Bring Me The Horizon. Bad Life is an amazing song that is incredibly profound and relatable. To hear is stripped back in it’s rawest form is highly emotional.
With a rapport so strong, Sigrid could do whatever she wants (even comically moving around to play with the spotlight chasing her) but she continues to deliver smash after smash. A Driver Saved My Night is a bouncy tonic after the cosy section. Kasper Waag drives the song with his skilled drumming and a misread of the set list from Sigrid leads to Everybody Says They’re Fine; a new cut from the recently released special edition of How To Let Go.
As her tied back hair dances and swishes as much as she does, the closing run of High Five, Plot Twist, Don’t Kill My Vibe and Strangers is just spectacular pop perfection. With plenty of people on their feet everywhere, the ovation is truly deafening. Sigrid allows the crowd to sing for her during all these songs. Manchester needs no invitation!
One of the best things about Sigrid is the ordinary nature of the show. Yes there is plenty of lights and cool visuals but Sigrid is decked out in jeans and white t shirt with Adidas trainers (her dancing shoes according to her!). No costume changes, no heavily choreographed set pieces, just great music; and a smile that beams. A smile that could light the gloomiest of rooms. It is sheer, unbridled joy for everyone in attendance.
As an encore starts, the ovation has Sigrid in tears. ‘This is unbelievable…I am literally wiping away tears!’ she says as she opens up another massive hit in Don’t Feel Like Crying. The foundations of the circle (where this writer was situated) were literally shaking with the amount of people on their feet dancing. A slightly extended version of Mirrors allows for band introductions and Glow has people with their mobile phone torches lighting up the venue.
Sigrid has the Midas touch. Her ability to write songs is seemingly faultless, and her magnetic presence on stage should see her rising high up festival bills everywhere. There is an element of fearlessness in her performance. However the stark vulnerability and emotion that she brings makes her an all rounder that has a mass appeal.
The world needs people like Sigrid to write songs for us. Long may she reign.
There are only a handful of opportunities to catch Sigrid live in the UK and Ireland. Find tickets here. Get a flavour for Sigrid and her amazing sound from this full band live clip from Glastonbury 2022.
Categories: Live Reviews