Oh Wonder, consisting of Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West, played their first show in Canada at The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, ON this past Saturday as part of their first North American tour. Oh Wonder released one song a month for a year beginning in September 2014. Since then, they have released a debut album, been touring heavily, and recently performed on Conan O’Brien. Saturday’s performance at The Danforth Music Hall was their largest show to-date.
Consistent with their album artwork, Oh Wonder took to a stage decorated with a minimalist lighting design that read “OW”. Oh Wonder didn’t need an extravagant stage set-up to impress fans. The duo captivated the audience throughout their entire performance with both their talent and humbling stage presence.
The sold out show was kicked off with their single, “Livewire”. The song’s intro was theatrical with its ambient chords and bright synths that made fans scream with excitement within the first few notes. Fans were mesmerized by the band’s replication of the songs that were written and recorded at Oh Wonder’s home, but were taken by surprise when songs were changed-up to suit the intimacy of their performance. For instance, the pre-chorus of their track “Dazzle” was stripped down to contain soft guitar chords, finger snaps, and the duo’s vocals. Similarly, the album version of “Midnight Moon” contains synths and percussion samples, while the live version consisted of the duo alternating back and forth between lyrics with the melody being carried by only guitar. Fans also got to hear a unique version of “Body Gold” as lyrics from The Weeknd’s track, “The Morning” were sung as an additional verse.
Oh Wonder’s stage presence also contributed to the captivating experience. Both West and Vander Gucht looked at each other for cues throughout their performance while also engaging audience members. Fans were singing along to every song which appeared to be a surreal experience for both Oh Wonder and the audience. Both Vander Gucht and West spoke with the audience in between songs which heightened the intimate atmosphere. At one point, Vander Gucht commented how she initially thought fans were at the wrong show because she was astonished at how many people in Canada knew the duo’s music. West similarly reiterated their excitement throughout the performance.
Those who were unable to make it to the show will be happy to hear that the duo has confirmed they will be back in the Toronto area in the near future.
The band’s tour dates can be found here.