Concert Review | Aura Dione delivers soulful tunes, but no apple

**** (4 stars out of 6); December 19 at Lille Vega

For a singer whose album cover contains a naked picture of her covered by an apple, I expected Aura Dione to be more Christina Aguilera than Dolly Parton. Instead I was blown away by a young star with tons of talent – a striking mix of Parton, Lily Allen and Colby Caillat.

In a nude body suit, surrounded by smoke and pink lighting, the 26-year-old opened with ‘Masterpiece’ from her 2011 album Before the Dinosaurs. And from the moment Dione stepped on stage, the crowd welcomed her with open arms like they were greeting a long-lost friend.

Women in their twenties made up most of the sold-out venue. The few men that were on hand mostly hung to the back, no doubt hoping Dione would make a costume change that involved apples.

Looking like Pocahontas decked out in wacky jackets for most of the show, Dione shined with her slower songs ‘Something from Nothing’, written about her time in Australia, and ‘Recipe’. She then turned up the jungle vibe and belted out ‘Before the Dinosaurs’ while one of her band members beat hard on a bongo drum.

Dione proved that she canÂ’t be put in a box. At times she would hark back to a country feel, sitting on a chair with her guitar playing the crowd-pleaser ‘AmericaÂ’ – she improvised lyrics by taking out the word America and replacing it with Vega: “If you can make it in Vega, you can make it anywhere”.

Five minutes later, Dione’s inner Parton turned into an inner Annie Lenox with an 80’s synthesizer accompanying ‘Song for Sophie’. The crowd quickly ran with the 80’s vibe and began to shake their booties.

Dione’s voice didn’t falter for the whole two hours; she gave a soulful and zesty performance and the crowd lapped up everything she had to offer. While they weren’t so keen on the upbeat songs, the slower ones garnered huge applause. By the time Dione got to her smash hit ‘Geronimo’, the crowd was wishing she would just get it over with and get back to her guitar.

In typical Dione style, the encore involved her walking from the back of the room through the crowd with a torch, wearing something that looked like a leftover from the  wardrobe of ‘Alice in WonderlandÂ’. She ended with the poignant performance of ‘IÂ’m in Love with the WorldÂ’. Safe to say her fans were in love with her too by the end of the night.





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