Zara Larsson @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX

Words and photos by Scott Rowe
What are some of the telltale signs of the modern day pop star?  Radio singles?  Check.  Number one albums?  Check times two.  Millions of followers on social media?  Check again.  With that being said, Zara Larsson is the international pop star you probably don't know but will know soon enough.  She's a twenty-one year old product a Sweden, and if there's one thing that Scandinavia knows, it's incredibly catchy pop music.  From the likes of Robyn, Tove Lo, and Icona Pop, Sweden has been a haven for introducing the world, namely the States, to pop newcomers who eventually become genre mainstays.  Larsson's musical career began with a win on Talang, the Swedish version of British TV's Got Talent at the age of 10 (America's Got Talent for the Yanks).  With guidance and perseverance, Larsson signed with TEN Music group in 2012, four years after her Talang win, but her persistence paid off with two number one albums in Sweden, 1 and So Good.

Much like many European acts, breaking into the US market can be a long, hard journey.  I remember seeing Muse perform at a 6,350-seat venue, when they were headlining major festivals and performing in stadium worldwide.  So getting to see Zara perform in the intimate confines of the House of Blues in Dallas might be an incredible opportunity, as her next tour may see her at much larger venues.  Before Zara even takes the stage, I'm happy to see that she has a live band with her, something that many take for granted but can make a performance so much better.

Larsson finally emerges from behind a white-clad staircase, flanked by two dancers in all-white, in a bright blue lace outfit.  She opens with "Symphony", a Clean Bandit track she provided vocals for and one of the biggest hits she's been part of; it was also included on her own album, So Good.  It's clear from the very start that Zara has got a huge set of pipes on her.  Amazing voice.  Her show production is pretty minimal, no snazzy LED boards, epilepsy-inducing light show, or any pyrotechnics of any kind.  It's the type of production that forces the audience's attention on the music and the artist.  Zara and her dancers do a fantastic job onstage with what seems a nonstop variety of choreography, which is welcomed with her catchy songs.  She doesn't deviate from the formula much, but I think that's the point with this performance.  Too often artists depend on over-the-top production and backing tracks to make an impact onstage, but Zara's voice and infectious anthems are enough to win over the Dallas crowd.  

Photos of the show are below:

Zara Larsson @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX Zara Larsson @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on September 30, 2019 Rating: 5
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