It was on a brisk Monday night in February that I made my way to the venue not too far from the famed Jean-Talon market to attend a little pop show at Bar Le Ritz PDB, where we had the honour to receive Léon for the first time in Quebec. Despite having heard only one of her songs, I decided that I needed to see this woman perform. I got to the venue around 8:30 for a relatively late show, considering that there was only two acts on a Monday night. The room was maybe ¼ full, and I noticed men were in the minority at that moment. I asked myself, “What did I get myself into?” By the time the show got started, the room was 2/3 full. What happened over the next two hours was a musical journey that made me happy that I took the chance on this show.
Supporting this tour was Jacob Banks, a singer-songwriter from Birmingham, England. Let me tell you, this guy has soul! I’m always in awe when I see a young man sing with so much soul. Jacob definitely has an old soul; his voice is marvelous. He was a joy to see perform with a solid nine-song set that made me wish he was playing longer. The highlights for me were the opening song “Worthy,” as well as “Unknown” and “Unholy War.” This might be the first time you hear of this Brit, but it won’t be the last.
After a quick changeover, the stage was now featuring four big letters spelling out L-É-O-N, our headliner for that evening. The lights were turned off, and appearing before us was a neon Léon (I know, that was too easy). At the strike of 10pm, the native of Stockholm, Sweden took the stage. From the first note, I was amazed by how talented this woman is. She is a huge star in the making. Her charisma is though the roof; she told us stories between songs, like one about the time she got drunk in her home town and got to the crying stage of drinking. She is adorable and had everyone’s attention. I even spoke to a label rep, and they said that in five years, I will be telling people how lucky I was to see her in a small venue with only 100 people. I couldn’t agree more; she has a bright future indeed. She is influenced by hip hop, and it brought out a little flair in her performance, which was brilliant. The set was short considering that she only has an EP out so far. We were treated to eleven songs, including a cover of Fleetwood Mac‘s “Dreams” which she mentioned was one of her favourites. I was really moved by her performance of “Treasures” and her most popular song “Tired of Talking.”
All in all, this was definitely a night to remember, full of great discoveries and a couple of artists that you should see before you kick it!
Written and Photographed by Eric Brisson
*edited by Kate Erickson