Astrid S @ Gorilla
After my interview with Norwegian pop singer, Astrid S, I had the pleasure of seeing her in Manchester’s Gorilla on Monday the 9th of October.
The small and intimate surroundings with a cool and energetic vibe was what greeted me as I arrived at Gorilla, a reflection of Astrid herself. Having recently finished her sold-out North American tour and supported Australian singer, Troye Sivan. The compact venue was filled to capacity with a large proportion of tall, blonde Norwegian fans of Astrid sporting Norwegian flags and beer in hand. We wedged ourselves between a group of excited young teenage girls and several extremely tall Norwegians. With the scene set from support act, a home talent of Liverpool, contemporary R&B artist, Taya who was an excellent support act to the high energy, yet modest set from Astrid.
She emerged onstage in a baggy red sweater and grungy trousers, an example that she shines as a singer and performer instead of relying on the other cliche pop-star attributes. She began with Jump and Bloodstream which were well received by a crowd of pink-lit-up Astrid S supporters. Her set then went onto Party’s Over, Hyde and Atic, which have all been big contributors to her worldwide success through collaborations with Avicii, Matoma, and Shawn Mendez. These massive, thumping hits reeled in the excitable crowd, with their cool, melodic pop sound. In a brief between-track break, she made time to sincerely thank Gorilla’s crowd for turning out and enjoying her music so much. In the momentary breaks she took to sip her water, her Norwegian followers would yell her name above the audience. The multiple red, blue and white Norwegian flags were proudly held high despite the intimacy of Gorilla as Astrid chuckled at such intense patriotism and introduced us to her latest track, Think Before I Talk which was released in August. Although her music is techno-infused pop, her raw vocal talent and ‘girl-next-door’ persona made the atmosphere of the whole of Gorilla in a state of genuine and intimate happiness.
What was so enjoyable about Astrid was simply being able to appreciate the obvious talent she has, which didn’t need to be matched or overshadowed by an attitude or accessories, which is unlike many young pop singers. This made seeing her all the more fantastic, however, her best songs were yet to come, which next were Hurt So Good a passionate, pop anthem, followed by a toned down and far more emotive Mexico. Her both delicate and power voice harmonised with her adoring fans, singing her lyrics “you make me feel like a piece of art” from Paper Thin back at her. The femininity of her vocals matched with her intimate and relatable lyrics created a beautiful relationship of vulnerability between Astrid and her audience at Gorilla as she sang Running Out. We all seemed to sigh with satisfaction because the acoustic songs managed to emphasise why she is so young, yet so successful. Through blue stage lighting and a general calmness in the room, Astrid said a few words of thanks to her brilliant band and her followers in the room and around the world.
To finish the set, we were treated to her biggest hit, which is also the “only song with a political meaning”, Such a Boy a song about the boys who can’t make up their minds, commenting lightly on the unfairness of how this behaviour is condoned with boys in general. This seemed to arouse such a big reaction, the crowd could barely be contained because as she left the stage, she was immediately summoned back by a crowd chanting her name for one more song. Her last song was the one with the highest energy, best bass, and the biggest crowd pleaser Breathe. Astrid was amazing, a truly talented artist, she transformed the small space and no doubt impressed us all in Gorilla.
Check out Astrid S’ latest single ‘Think Before I Talk’ below.