Our first Wonder Ballroom adventure took us to see the ever-amazing synth-pop artist, La Roux. Not only was I excited to see this artist because of the impact her first record made on me (“Bulletproof” was the jam back in the day!), but Elly Jackson’s newest album, Trouble in Paradise, was an epic win in the category of sophomore releases. (Read our review of the album here.)
With the tropical vibes produced in the new record, along with the bouncy synth sounds that won her a Grammy for Best Electronic/Dance Album, I was excited to see how it all translated live. I can tell you right now that it blended perfectly!
Surprisingly, La Roux played without an opener. I had been, prior to the show, scouring the internet looking for information on who would be opening up for her. However, as it turned out, no one had claimed this space. Instead, Wonder Ballroom let the disco lights go, and played a little music to get the mood set right in the hour and a half before the show began.
When it did begin, it was an all out dance party the whole way through. Here are some things I really loved about La Roux’s performance:
One, she was having so much fun on stage! It really takes away from the enjoyment of a set if you can clearly see the band or performer is not having fun with what they do (I’ve seen a few like this. I won’t name drop). However, just as this is true, if you can see a performer is having the time of their lives sharing their passion with you, everyone’s going to go home happy. You could clearly see Miss Elly Jackson fell into this second category, interacting with the crowd, showing off her quirky dance moves, and smiling the whole way through it.
Two, the venue. That’s all I really need to say, but I will say more. Wonder Ballroom is the happy medium between a big ‘n fancy venue, and a small, intimate hole-in-the-wall. Think like if Hawthorne Theater and Crystal Ballroom had a venue lovechild, Wonder is that. Let me explain. The ballroom is big. It’s not huge, but it accommodates for larger crowds, and that means larger name performers, such as La Roux, Tove Lo tomorrow, and many more. However, unlike a lot of larger venues that delight in separating you from the stage via dream-crushing barricades, the Wonder Ballroom front row is front row. Take this for example. The picture of Elly Jackson included in this here article…. #nozoom. You are right at the stage, and this means more interaction and connection between the fans and the band. That is a beautiful thing.
Three, La Roux’s music is always spectacular. Much of the synth-pop dance vibes were kept in the set, keeping the crowd jumping up and down and enjoying themselves the whole way through. (This was another thing I was concerned about. Would the crowd only know the debut album songs, be standing there through the new stuff, then pull out their iPhones during “Bulletproof”? Luckily, that was not the case.) And of course, with the newer material, adding the tropical vibes complete with more instrumentals, but still a way to get your groove going, everyone seemed to know the words, the tune, and how to get down to it all.
With all these factors and more combined, La Roux’s Wonder Ballroom performance was one not easily forgotten. It was a night of dancing, lights, music, and overall fun. A party that everyone should experience next time around.