Words by Tom Frodsham.
Danish indie pop darling MØ came to The Ritz on Wednesday night promising a much-needed injection of uninhibited pop. Warming up was London dance act Nimmo. They may look like they’ve just finished their GCSEs, but don’t let that fool you – they provided an ultra-high energy set of tunes that raised the bar for the night.
MØ arrived to applause from the crowd’s teenage devotees, but it wasn’t until her third track in, ‘Kamikaze’, that she gained our undivided attention. Once she had it, there was no letting go. She had a tendency to push her voice to just before its breaking point, but even with a strong backing track, her live vocals shone through, evident and powerful.
The set list was as energetic as MØ herself. Track after track kept up the momentum. ‘Pilgrim’ and ‘Walk This Way’ were electric live. The crowd’s reaction sprung The Ritz’s floor like a bouncy castle.
Unlike many female performers, who play coy and unthreatening, MØ has guts. She reacts naturally to the music, dancing freely, no holding back. She moves to the sound as if it’s pulsating out of her own body. Not one beat is missed as she dances, punches, kicks, hair flicks, skips, jumps around the stage to each song. It’s an erratic, captivating way of performing. No corny choreography here. Not once did her energy wane. “All right, Manchester?” she’d scream to check we were still paying attention. No danger in that. You keep going, I’m enjoying this.
“I’m sorry to tell you that Bieber isn’t here tonight. You’ll have to make do with just me,” she told us before an acoustic rendition of ‘Cold Water’. Bieber? MØ’s show makes his look like Disney on Ice. We didn’t want him anyway. The pace of the show accelerated towards the night’s peak with catchy new single ‘Drum’ and the anthem that made her famous, ‘Lean On’, ending the night on a euphoric high.
Denmark has its icons – Hans Christian Andersen, Brigitte Nielsen, bacon – and something tells me MØ will be something of a Danish icon herself in years to come after witnessing this show.
MØ played live at The Ritz on Wednesday 19 October, 2016.