by John Curley—Little Boots, clad in a gold outfit with a large hood that obscured her face, kicked off her sold-out Highline Ballroom show with a slow, dirge-like performance of the song “Ghost.” But the show really got going when she then shed the hood and launched into the upbeat single “New In Town.” She’s got great stage presence, and certainly could give some of the disco queens of the 1970s a run for their money.
Little Boots—25 years old, the winner of the BBC’s Sound of 2009, and a Blackpool, England native whose real name is Victoria Hesketh—began her tour of North America in New York City on the same day (Tuesday, March 2nd) that her debut album, Hands, received its American release. (The album was released in her native UK last year.) Since Little Boots’ music crosses so many genres (rock, pop, electronica, and dance), it is tough to pigeonhole her. She is a talented songwriter, and her tunes avoid the usual banality of most other dance music.
Backed by a drummer and two keyboardists (one of whom also played some guitar during the show), Little Boots played several different keyboards and synths during the course of the concert. But the most impressive instrumental display from Little Boots at the Highline Ballroom show was when she played the intro to her latest single “Earthquake” on the laser harp. When she blocked one of the laser harp’s eight laser beams with her hand, it would create a sound which she could alter by raising or lowering her hand. And she did this while wearing a large black and gold mask. This bit of the show was absolutely spellbinding and got a big reaction from the crowd.
Little Boots’ use of the Tenori-on during her performance of “Meddle” was another highlight of the show. The Tenori-on features a screen that flashes with each beat. She got the crowd to chant certain words which the Tenori-on then repeated in its metallic-sounding “voice.” The words were then incorporated into the performance of the song. It was really effective.
The first song of the encore was a stark contrast to the rest of the show. It was a new song that is titled “Echo.” She performed it solo on an electric keyboard and seemed very much the shy and sensitive singer-songwriter at that moment instead of the super-confident disco diva. That she could shift styles so dramatically and effortlessly was quite impressive.
Little Boots closed the show with “Stuck On Repeat,” the single that kicked off her career. She began “Stuck On Repeat” alone on the electric keyboard and, after being joined again on stage by her backing band, delivered a rip-roaring version of the song. It was a great way to end what had been a fantastic night of music.
The concert also featured an incredible laser show that complemented Little Boots’ music perfectly. The show was about 60 minutes in length and consisted of an eight-song main set with a two-song encore. And it also featured several costume changes.
Little Boots is, without question, a musical talent to keep your eyes on. She is a must-see in concert. Do yourself a favor and look up her tour dates.
The set list for Little Boots’ show at the Highline Ballroom in New York City on March 2nd was as follows:
New In Town
Stuck On Repeat