The stage was dark lit and moody. The audience was nearly sold out and a mix of ages, with a lot of young children, probably a reflection of Aurora’s youthful spirit.
Dan Croll and his two backing members took the stage and a swirling, echoing, full synth sound emanated through the speakers. The audience watched, tranced by the repeating rounds and Croll’s clear tone. At first, the crowd seemed kind of dead, but when it came time for Aurora, it became clear that they were just transfixed by both artists, solidifying that Croll was a great choice as an opener and the audience was ready to soak in the indie electronic whirlwind.
The Sweet Disarray singer, backed by keys, acoustic guitar, and drum loops, rang bright and poppy, and provided a positive soundtrack to the twinkle eyed teens awaiting the rest of the journey to come. Stand out songs included “Compliment Your Soul,” which the audience seemed to know, “From Nowhere,” which was Croll’s first big break out song, and, “That song from the commercial” “Home” which had people singing along. The harmonies were melded nicely to fit the atmosphere and they left the audience looking into following through with their music.
With the excitement of Croll’s last notes still ringing, the mystical, whimsical Aurora seemed to take flight onto the stage. The mood was incredibly high as fans watched in awe and her tender, almost childlike vocals filled the air and her dance moves conveyed the youthful spirit and added to the story telling of her picturesque lyrics. “Lucky” was hauntingly gorgeous, setting the scene that life, that night, was a gift.
She’s unique in the way that she dances with her melodies. What her voice does, her body reflects. The audience was so enamored with her that they barely danced, just stared and listened and opened their hearts. You could tell that people were super invested in the album, cheering when more abstract songs like “In Boxes” and “Under Stars” started.
Her energy and passion for what she does is unmistakable, even when she said being on the road made her homesick and the only thing that gets her through is performing and connecting with the crowd every night. Her expressionism is one of the reasons she resonates so well. She almost doesn’t seem like she’s on the same level of Earth, but the realness of her songs brings her back down. With the contrast of “Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)” paired with “Through the Eyes of a Child” the room saw the extreme depths of her soul, her innocence as well as the morbid wisdom that only comes out in her songwriting.
Aurora is such a beautiful, kindred spirit that at this point, the audience literally could not get enough of her. Her little quips about going to a Christmas shop and finding a special, “Oh, what do you call them.. ornament” and not exactly knowing what Chipotle is, but having a desire to try it if the crowd said it was good kept the audience giggling along with her as she shyly backed away with the mic when people praised her. “Oh, I must be boring you, you don’t want to hear this,” she said. But yes, the crowd did, and then some.
The night was winding down, and the killer combo of “Running with the Wolves” and “Conqueror” broke people out of their shells with a last fleeting moment to dance and express. Someone even threw a bra at Aurora, which she jokingly put on, and then proceeded to swing around while she twirled through the last verse.
More notes and gifts were bestowed upon the seemingly supernatural being, which she accepted oh so humbly before the encore started. One girl even gave her a little paper moth, inspired by the artwork for “All My Demons Greeting Me As Friends,” and a guy and girl gave her “Aurora Titanium” and “Viking Sunstone” stones which she picked up and held close to her heart in adoration and thanks before breaking out into “Warrior.”
Probably the most chilling moment of the night was the finale. Just Aurora and her keyboardist lit by dull blue light as the chords of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars?” tinged and left everyone mesmerized. As far as covers go, some bands don’t make the best choices, but her stripped back, shining vocal forward version had the audience silent.
If you want to see a passionate, mystical, youthful but wise, humble despite her incredible talent, performer, go see Aurora and enjoy the journey her songs will take you on.