Lucky were the die-hard fans of much heralded Danish singer/songwriter Karen Marie Ørsted, known as MØ (pronounced Moo), to get tickets to her first Chicago concert appearance...a sold-out show at Lincoln Hall, Wednesday, May 28th. Excitement and anticipation was everywhere inside and outside the venue as ticketholders, held to elevated status amongst envious friends, acquaintances, and even family members who were not able to gain entrance, felt great pride in a sort of common bond knowing they were in for something very special. Indeed, all in attendance on this night were treated to a stellar, impassioned performance by a remarkable talent far beyond her twenty-something years.
From the moment MØ hit the stage and sang her first note of her first song "Fire Rides", you were overcome instantly with an innate sense that she looked and sounded like an artist who could, should, and would fill larger venues and enjoy tremendous success of a lengthy career. That voice, and her skillful and intelligent use of it, no matter a lead vocal or together with her backing vocal tracks, was infectious. Commanding utmost attention with eyes transfixed upon her so as to not miss a single beat, MØ also offered much movement. Yes, she had all the right moves. One moment found her pausing at the front-of-stage to belt out a powerful note, the next gyrating her hips to her dance-induced beats, then on to her signature hair-twirling move, to crowd surfing, standing on the drum-set, more hair-twirling, singing amongst fans on the main floor, singing atop the main-floor bar, and even more hair-twirling. MØ also surprised everyone as she sang "Never Wanna Know" from the balcony. "I'm over here," she stated as fans searched and finally found her "so nice to look at you from up here".
Hidden without the use of a spotlight, MØ seemed to get lost in the music, albeit fittingly; blending in and allowing the music to speak for itself. But then, MØ IS the music! Let's just say, her MØsic is for everyone's ears! She performed with a flirty innocence and exuded a passion and demeanor usually reserved for well-seasoned entertainers. Her interplay with backing band members Ronni Vindahl - Guitar/Producer, Rasmus Littauer - Drums, Sylvester Struckmann - Synths/Additional Beats and fans in the audience was seamless. The flow from song to song during her sixty minute 14-song set was fluid. MØ tried and succeeded in providing a fun, raucous, hands-in-the-air, good time for one and all.
Shelby Hagstrom from Chicago commented - "One of the most entertaining and interactive concerts I've ever been to! She has a great voice! It was awesome to hear her perform live! I loved her dance moves and her penchant for swinging her hair! She was so fun to watch! I am so in love with MØ!"
Owen Uhl from Black River Falls, Wisconsin (who drove six hours just to see MØ) commented - "The MØ concert was simply amazing! Her energy is some of the best in the music field today! With her pelvic thrusts, sweet eyes, and smile to charm...she brought me to her lyrics with eager intensity! I'm a fan for life!"
And, Jehan Khateeb in San Francisco (who'll be seeing MØ on June 3rd in San Francisco) offered - "I love the heavy beats and energy in her music. It's a fusion of many genres I'm into and I like that it's somewhat emotional, yet powerful. Really looking forward to dancing at her show next week in San Francisco!"
This tourstop at Lincoln Hall was part of a 12-date sold-out North American tour which began in Washington DC on May 20th and will end with a June 4th show in Los Angeles. MØ found herself as headliner, which is uniquely rare of an artist who is a relative newcomer, with really only a debut album entitled No Mythologies To Follow (released February 21st, 2014, on Sony Music Entertainment), Bikini Daze EP (released October 13th, 2013 on Sony Music Entertainment) and singles "Say You'll Be There" Spice Girls cover, "Waste Of Time", "Glass", and "Pilgrim" to her credit, but nonetheless a brilliant move by her and her team because she is that talented. With her strong global buzz, amazing vocal and songwriting capabilities, and collaborations with GRAMMY Award nominated DJ/Producer Diplo on "XXX 88" and GRAMMY Award nominated DJ/Remixer/Producer Avicii on "Dear Boy", has solidified her as an artist to not only watch, but just may be that artist who is the trailblazer...moving music forward for the next generation. Listed in the electro-pop genre, she offers so much more by combining elements of Electronic Dance Music, Pop, Rock, Hip-hop, Punk, R&B and more, creating music that has universal appeal.
I had the most wonderful opportunity to interview MØ shortly before her Wednesday performance which will be posted soon. Personable, genuine, modest, with a sincere passion for her craft and always wanting to and striving to do her best. Raised and influenced on a healthy dose of Sonic Youth and the Spice Girls, the latter providing the ever-popular Girl Power messages and positivity found in her music. Her Spice Girl's cover of "Say You'll Be There" was a fan favorite when performed as an encore.
MØ is definitely worthy of her critical acclaim and all the love, adulation, and support she receives from her fans. She proved she was the best, and more, on this night!
Red In The Grey
Dust Is Gone
Waste Of Time
Never Wanna Know
Walk This Way
Say You'll Be There
Don't Wanna Dance