Concert Review: Icona Pop stops at House of Blues alonside girl-friends

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Photo Credit: Ty Wright

LAKE BUENA VISTA — You may not be able to put faces to the names Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo just yet, but with their recent success – attaining double platinum status for single “I Love It,” while having song placements on video games and television shows, there’s no way you can go anywhere without hearing or seeing something connected to the Swedish DJ duo, Icona Pop.

After a year of performing on different festival sets throughout the world, the group have finally netted their well-deserved, first-ever headlining tour in America.

Electronic dance music (EDM), hip-hop and rock are just a few of the genres you can hear at the festival-like, all girl “Iconic Tour,” presented by TIGI Bed Head, which made stops in Florida this past weekend.

A mixed crowd of guys sporting the “Macklemore haircut,” hardcore rave fans, and toddlers whose bedtime is generally around the time the show started, filled the House of Blues Orlando Friday night, to see the “Iconic Tour” featuring Icona Pop and friends.

Sultry redhead – Hjelt took the stage sporting a black and white, Judy Jetson-based, Spice Girl-influenced one piece costume, with the Icona Pop DJ Booth behind her resembling the Star Trek Auxiliary Control Center and her best friend, Jawo, on the other side.

It’s great to see how far the duo has come in such little time — rewind to December of last year, when Icona Pop made their Orlando debut opening for “The Lonely Hearts Club Tour” where they had to cram all of their laptops and mixers onto a foldout table, limiting their movement- having to wrap the microphone cord up and swing the remainder of it over the table if they wanted to move from one side to the stage to the other.

“On this song, I’m going to sing this together with you guys,” Hjelt said in her thick swedish accent before getting into “Girlfriend”, showing off her vocal strength as the crowd recited the lyrics in perfect cadence. Whether it was Aino – playing the electric guitar, or Hjelt- singing, neither member just sat around and watched sharing the spotlight evenly as they rotated back and forth between their midis and laptop setup.

The energy was off the Richter scale from the moment the ladies shot on their black helmets and performed “Manners”, completely from behind their DJ booth, to their final song – performing summer hit single “I Love It” – in the middle of the stage with brews in hand as the ladies provided the perfect pre-game event for anyone who was going out afterwards to further enjoy their night.

While the crowd could not recite the groups newer material off their upcoming album, This Is, as well as they could with some of the duo’s older and more popular songs, it did not stop them from enjoying the concert during songs “All Night” and “Light Me Up” as they danced and kept their hands waved high in the air during the entire performance.

Between their singing, dancing and electrifying light show, Icona Pop managed to transition their studio sound into a live set. The duo is truly talented and appeared to be enjoying themselves the entire night which transitioned well into the crowd, hosting the prettiest party I have ever been to.

Both supporting acts were very multifaceted and set the tone early. Los Angeles-based rapper Sirah opened the show singing a mix of pop and EDM jingles, which some of her newer fans know her for, but also managed to fit in some of her earlier hard in your face rap records, showing love to her underground hip hop past. Don’t let her petite size fool you, the wild-hair MC has a very strong presence demanding you tune into what she is saying.

K.Flay took the stage next and was just as fun. Between the head bashing, fast rapping, and live beat making – K.Flay’s set was all over the place yet she managed to keep the crowd engaged the entire time. From the time she hit the stage, sporting her black jeans, black leather jacket, and black sleeveless “Black Skinhead” t-shirt- it was evident that female producer/rapper had no mindset of winning a fashion contest instead was just there to rock out. While K.Flay proved she could cross over into multiple genres, it would have been nice to see her focus on one specific style giving fans who may not be that familiar with her music the opportunity to get a general feel.

Whoever said girls can rock out as hard as the guys must have never seen these ladies. All the ladies are fun, talented and exciting- bringing different elements in their set to combine for one great night. The “Iconic Tour” is hardly underway and I would suggest everyone to go check it out, as it is an event that the whole family could enjoy.

T.Y. Moment of the Night

It’s good to see supporting artist support – adding onto the bill and not just acting as a slot filler until the headlining act is ready. Sirah and K.Flay we’re dope on and off the stage interacting with fans concluding their set. Instead of listening from the back of the stage, both artist and their crew went into the crowd and watched as fans alongside of their supporters. K.Flay got so turnt up from Icona Pop’s performance that she decided to partake in the crowd surf.

Photos from the Iconic Tour