Review: Tove Lo’s Long Awaited Set at the Salt Shed Was Worth the Wait

Swedish pop icon Tove Lo was set to play the Salt Shed’s indoor debut back in February but unfortunately had to postpone due to illness. The much anticipated evening finally came to be last week and let me tell you, despite the circumstances, it was well worth the wait. The long sold out evening briskly filled up with dedicated fans who have been holding out for this moment since that brisk February night. Everyone in the crowd arrived raingdiating their best ‘main character’ energy for the night; fish nets, platform shoes, glitter and neon were among some of the looks that stood out throughout the exuberant sea of people. I was particularly ecstatic for this tour after becoming obsessed with her latest 2022 studio album Dirt Femme. It is filled to the brim with catchy dance elements and just the right amount of synths sprinkled throughout the record. Upon my first listen I was hooked and found my jaw dropping after hearing each track for the first time.  Getting to see these songs come to life exceeded all my already high expectations of Tove Lo as a performer.

The Salt Shed was in for a good time right from the get-go with indie pop artist UPSAHL opening the evening with some upbeat tunes and an enthusiastic performance that instantly turned me into a fan. Playing tracks from her debut album Lady Jesus and her fantastic EPs (including her latest Sagittarius), UPSAHL had the crowd hooked instantly. An instant highlight of the set was when she threw it back to 2008 with a cover of the Ting Ting’s “That’s Not My Name,” a song they pulled out of the trenches of my music cataloging brain that I hadn’t listened to in over 10 years. UPSAHL exuded a lighthearted energy that got the crowd riled up for Tove.

The intense hype built up as her playtime drew nearer, especially as stage hands revealed an elaborate display of clouds set up throughout the stage as part of Tove Lo’s show. As the lights went down, the energy hit a new high and Tove Lo kicked off the night with her vibrant tune “Pineapple Slice.” There was no better way for her to come on stage than with the Dirty Femme track featuring SG Lewis; it’s energetic, bright and has a killer instrumentation produced by SG himself. Tove Lo instantaneously captivated her audience, wearing an incredibly designed piece that was radiating vibrant colors and knee-high silver boots. She perfectly mirrored her fans attire for the evening, giving them as much effort as they out in. Promptly after, she performed another banger from Dirt Femme, “Attention Whore” which features Channel Tres. Although she started off with two of her best bangers, the rest of the set kept up with the pace since Tove Lo has such an extensive catalog of glorious pop songs.

There was an unspoken obligation for her to perform one of her greatest hits, “Disco Tits” which is pretty obviously a fan favorite. The song can mostly be heard playing on a night out to the clubs but also serves its purpose being blasted over your headphones for an intense workout. I was very impressed with Tove Lo’s various outfit changes as well; she had not one but three different fits she wore for the night; each just as pretty as the last. After her first fit she changed into a sequence/sparkly silver piece which didn’t stay on too long as she flashed the audience for a quick second and was met with a roaring supportive applause and cheering. Her final outfit was reminiscent of the Dirt Femme promo photos; she wore a fitted leotard that was armored all throughout in silver plates, giving her a sort of futuristic warrior look.

She closed out the evening with an incredible encore featuring “Not On Drugs,” a song she said she hadn’t performed in 8 years and “Habits (Stay High)”. Tove Lo is widely known for that sensational single, so of course she saved the best for these final moments of the night. “Habits (Stay High)” set the path for Tove to get to where she is today and rightfully so, it has been one of my most replayed songs since it came out back in 2014. Finally, Lo finished the night off with “No One Dies From Love,” the synthy intro track from her latest album. It was the perfect way to end the show.

Having total creative direction after self-releasing her album Dirt Femme, you can really tell Tove Lo’s authentic personality shines through more so on this project than any of her previous works. Her free spirited energy is why so many people flock to Tove Lo shows and why she has such a devoted following, After seeing and hearing what she can pull off from a self-released project; I am almost impatient to see what else Tove conjures up for us. Her set is definitely going down as yet another incredibly successful night at the Salt Shed .

Andrew Lagunas
Andrew Lagunas

Andrew Lagunas is a freelance photographer from Naperville who specializes in portraiture and concert photography. He has an Associate in Arts degree from College of DuPage and is always looking for new creative outlets.