Photography & Words: Adam R. Harrison
It was sass before class on Thursday night at The Opera House as the tattooed, voluptuous heroine, Elle King, brought her tour through Toronto in promotion of her sophomore album, Shake the Spirit.
King opened her 75-minute set with “Baby Outlaw” from the new album. She was dressed simply in black jeans and a Suicidal Tendencies t-shirt, but immediately commanded attention with her mighty and smoky vocals that are anything but simple. Her voice echoing through the hall as she powered her way through songs of outrage (“Good for Nothin’ Woman”), passion (“Little Bit of Lovin’”), frustration (“Told You So”) and jealousy (“Naturally Pretty Girl”).
Part of King’s charm is her unapologetically cheeky sense of humour, especially for songs like “It Girl” which opens “You know I hate to wait, so I always put out on the first date, my reputation’s great, just ask any of my first dates.” Occasionally King would also hop on a banjo to join her backup band on the instrumentals.
The set was almost entire comprised with songs from Shake the Spirit including her latest single “Shame” which got a nice reception and sing-a-long from the fans. But it was her debut top 10 hit, “Ex’s & Oh’s” that is still the show stealer. After ending the show on a high note, the audience stayed in place demanding more. But alas, this show would end without an encore. However it is very apparent that King’s career is still on the rise and we’ll be hearing much more from her in years to come.