LIANNE LA HAVAS at the Opera House, Thursday (April 4). Rating: NNNN
The last time Lianne La Havas played Toronto, she opened for Bon Iver at Massey Hall. While the British singer-songwriter had a slightly smaller venue for her first headlining show here Thursday night, there was no question who everyone was there to see - after all she was, uh, the headliner. Unflashy but charming, La Havas kept her audience hanging on every word, whether she was talking about her two guitars Connie (named after her grandmother) and Lil Prince, or introducing a song by saying "This one's a bit saucy."
With the help of a backing band, the singer played a selection of songs from her well-received 2012 debut album - ranging between heart-on-sleeve folk ballads and uplifting soul anthems. While the more uptempo material (Forget, Is Your Love Big Enough?) was slightly more memorable, the set list was well-balanced (including a cover of Radiohead's Weird Fishes that didn't feel out of place) and proved La Havas worthy of the solo spotlight.