AURORA (Aurora Aksnes) sold out The Showbox on February 14th. The Norwegian electropop singer–songwriter was accompanied by a four-piece backing band of guitar, electronics, drums, and keys. Her tour supports her September 2018 album, Infections of a Different Kind (Step 1).
Aksnes’ clear, sweet soprano was reminiscent of Björk with a dash of Dolores O’Riordan. She performed in a crop top and bellydance pants, along with gold running shoes that she later removed to dance barefoot. She wore red “warrior” face paint on her cheeks, and flung around her platinum bob with its signature long strands. Her petite stature and wide-eyed stage presence—in front of a woodland backdrop and suspended glowing jellyfish—set the stage for a childhood tour of a magical fairy forest.
Dark lyrics and titles like “Murder Song” belied AURORA’s winsome sentimentality. She was also delightfully funny onstage, and seemed unconcerned about doing a second take on “Warrior” after a backing track skipped suddenly to the chorus. She belted out “Queendom,” her anthem to inclusivity and empowerment. “Runaway” was especially popular with the crowd. AURORA closed with her early favorite “Running with the Wolves” before returning for the encore duet “Through the Eyes of a Child.”
The audience included a surprising number of tweens and teens, who sang along throughout the show and brought handmade valentines to set onstage. A 14-year-old sobbed with joy when AURORA apologized personally for cancelling a Seattle show two years ago, which had been due to appendicitis. Grown-ups also brought gifts and yelled, “Be my valentine, Aurora!” A couple in the front row tossed Aksnes a Pride flag, which she danced with onstage and kept to take home. AURORA appeared emotional and genuinely grateful for her fans.
Irish electropop group Talos played the opening set. Lead singer Eoin French’s dreamy falsetto soared over electronics, bass, drums, and guitar. Their album Far Out Dust was just released in February.