FKA Twigs: REBEL (11/17)

FKA Twigs: REBEL (11/17)

A performance to the theatrical level of MAGDALENE begs for a hall with seats...

A performance to the theatrical level of MAGDALENE begs for a hall with seats...

fka twigs performs with jewelry in front of a red curtain
PHOTO CREDIT:

Last Sunday, FKA Twigs brought MAGDALENE to Rebel. Hot off the release of the excellent record from the beloved UK new wave singer, fans piled into the clubby, almost Gotti-esque harbourfront venue bar to get in on the bass heavy stage show informed by modern dance, art and urban music, somewhere between Sade and Bjork.

A performance to the theatrical level of MAGDALENE begs for a hall with seats, Rebel’s flat floor audience pit made it nearly impossible for many of Twigs’ fanbase, seemingly half short girls and half giant hype beasts, to see anything apart from what was caught by nearby camera phones.

As difficult as many tried to get a look at the highly talked about visuals boasted by the MAGDALENE show, it was mostly shoulder-to-shoulder with many even retreating to the back of the venue to watch the show through the lounge area TV screens. Can someone please tell Young Turks about Meridian Hall?

And though it was...um relatable as an Asian male to see Twigs embrace philosophical hallmarks like patience and grace as her dancers beautifully evoked martial arts in white masks, the actual Asian staff of the venue, mostly unhappy cocktail waitresses who double as bartenders only added to the choice of venue’s awkwardness.

From what could be seen, Twigs’ stage show was miraculous.

More performance art than rock concert, MAGDALENE ambitiously combines contemporary, wushu, vaudevillian miming, and ballet. The spectacle is often magnificent, but always arresting with Twigs often surrounded by a host of masked dancers. To great effect and the benefit of naked ballads like instant classic “Cellophane,” Twigs sings alone in front of the curtain, providing solo bookends of the performance. Her undeniable star power symbiotically fuels fully actualized stage renditions of A$AP Rocky’s “Fukk Sleep” and “Holy Terrain," her duet with Future, receiving roars from Toronto’s hip hop loving crowd.

For MAGDALENE highlight "Fallen Alien,” the curtain came down revealing what looked like a modern jungle gym complete with a stripper pole. She only gets on it once, for a lively version of LP1’s “Lights On,” in Lucite heels may I add and her aerobic ability and graceful showmanship provided one of the biggest reactions of the night. In the full picture of the ambitious stage show, the pole dance, powerful coloured strobes, elaborate costume, and her elastic soprano, perhaps what got her to this level in the first place, are just the obvious few of the tools Twigs seamlessly uses to build her powerful stage presence. Her reluctance to address the audience until the very last song may come off as standoffish, but is a benefactor of extreme committed focus leading to volatility and even audible crying when she played “Mirrored Heart.”

Twigs doesn’t show much as use lighting visuals and dance as a supplement to her signature brooding rhythms, it’s practically half of the album experience giving awaiting fans their complete vision of one of 2019’s best albums.

It’s a shame few actually in the venue could see it.

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FKA Twigs: REBEL (11/17)

City:
Toronto, ON
Venue:
REBEL
Promised Show Time:
9:00 PM
Actual Show Time:
9:03 PM
Duration:
65 min
Opening Acts:
none
Overall Score:
B+

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Last Sunday, FKA Twigs brought MAGDALENE to Rebel. Hot off the release of the excellent record from the beloved UK new wave singer, fans piled into the clubby, almost Gotti-esque harbourfront venue bar to get in on the bass heavy stage show informed by modern dance, art and urban music, somewhere between Sade and Bjork.

A performance to the theatrical level of MAGDALENE begs for a hall with seats, Rebel’s flat floor audience pit made it nearly impossible for many of Twigs’ fanbase, seemingly half short girls and half giant hype beasts, to see anything apart from what was caught by nearby camera phones.

As difficult as many tried to get a look at the highly talked about visuals boasted by the MAGDALENE show, it was mostly shoulder-to-shoulder with many even retreating to the back of the venue to watch the show through the lounge area TV screens. Can someone please tell Young Turks about Meridian Hall?

And though it was...um relatable as an Asian male to see Twigs embrace philosophical hallmarks like patience and grace as her dancers beautifully evoked martial arts in white masks, the actual Asian staff of the venue, mostly unhappy cocktail waitresses who double as bartenders only added to the choice of venue’s awkwardness.

From what could be seen, Twigs’ stage show was miraculous.

More performance art than rock concert, MAGDALENE ambitiously combines contemporary, wushu, vaudevillian miming, and ballet. The spectacle is often magnificent, but always arresting with Twigs often surrounded by a host of masked dancers. To great effect and the benefit of naked ballads like instant classic “Cellophane,” Twigs sings alone in front of the curtain, providing solo bookends of the performance. Her undeniable star power symbiotically fuels fully actualized stage renditions of A$AP Rocky’s “Fukk Sleep” and “Holy Terrain," her duet with Future, receiving roars from Toronto’s hip hop loving crowd.

For MAGDALENE highlight "Fallen Alien,” the curtain came down revealing what looked like a modern jungle gym complete with a stripper pole. She only gets on it once, for a lively version of LP1’s “Lights On,” in Lucite heels may I add and her aerobic ability and graceful showmanship provided one of the biggest reactions of the night. In the full picture of the ambitious stage show, the pole dance, powerful coloured strobes, elaborate costume, and her elastic soprano, perhaps what got her to this level in the first place, are just the obvious few of the tools Twigs seamlessly uses to build her powerful stage presence. Her reluctance to address the audience until the very last song may come off as standoffish, but is a benefactor of extreme committed focus leading to volatility and even audible crying when she played “Mirrored Heart.”

Twigs doesn’t show much as use lighting visuals and dance as a supplement to her signature brooding rhythms, it’s practically half of the album experience giving awaiting fans their complete vision of one of 2019’s best albums.

It’s a shame few actually in the venue could see it.

-

-

-

FKA Twigs: REBEL (11/17)

City:
Toronto, ON
Venue:
REBEL
Promised Show Time:
9:00 PM
Actual Show Time:
9:03 PM
Duration:
65 min
Opening Acts:
none
Overall Score:
B+

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