Words By: Adam Barker
In The Fonda Theater, listeners are surrounded by images of The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch. These hellish images stood in stark contrast to the angelic visage of Aurora. Diminutive and ethereal, dressed in a gossamer slip and a black body suit, Norwegian Aurora took the stage backed by blue and white light and obscured behind a thick haze. Mysterious and tiny, it only took a few notes of “Lucky” before the audience was enthralled by the power of her voice.
“Winter Bird” turned into an affirmative female anthem bathed in icy light. Afterward, Aurora took a moment to address the crowd. She was cute and even with a small voice that was shocking after the power of her singing, and she thanked various people in the audience for giving her cookies and candy before the show. She is warm and accessible, and the intimacy invites people in the audience to respond.
She said that “Little Boy in the Grass” and “Under Stars” were two songs that belong together. She was quickly banging her chest and marching to the anthemic drum line as strobes fired off behind her. Slow and powerful, she closed her eyes and poured her heart into the microphone while gently touching the hem of her dress.
Shortly after the above Aurora paused to tell a couple of funny anecdotes, one about buying a bathing suit that was so expensive that she felt she had to wear it on stage to justify the cost. She also had a short discussion with the audience about the merits of Chipotle that made her even more endearing.
The lights faded to red and Aurora launched into “Murder Song (5,4,3,2,1)” accompanied by only an acoustic guitar, the guitarist singing harmony. During “Runaway” the front lights faded to black and a bright blue backlights silhouetted Aurora. The lyrics to the song describing the longing and loneliness for home.
People gave her gifts, like a black Santa hat, a necklace and a small painting. She dressed in them and modeled for the audience. She took a moment to thank her band and the opening bands and promised to get the fans dancing. She launched into raucous versions of “I Went too Far,” “Running with the Wolves” and “Conqueror.” These found Aurora kicking into full-on rock mode, dancing around the stage, kicking her leg and throwing her hair forward.
Aurora and the band took their bow and quickly vacated the stage, but the lights didn’t go up, signaling an encore. Aurora took a seminal Bowie song and made it her own. “Life on Mars” became a stirring soliloquy, her voice quavering with emotion, accompanied by only a keyboard. She stripped the song down, turning it inward. You could hear a pin drop during the performance. Aurora drew the crowd in and commanded their attention with only her voice. When it was over, she thanked LA and disappeared into the smoke.
Aurora finishes her US tour December 2nd in Seattle, WA before starting the European leg of her tour in Norway. Buy tickets by clicking here.
“Little Boy In The Grass”
“Murder Song (5,4,3,2,1)”
“Eyes Of A Child”
“Under The Water”
“I Went Too Far”
“Running With The Wolves”
“Life On Mars”
Photos By: Charlotte Johnson