Maja Ivarrson by Brittney Bush Bollay
Maja Ivarrson is a star.
The sexy Swede, who fronts The Sounds, strutted her stuff all over the Showbox’s stage Tuesday night with a charismatic presence that demanded your attention not just because of her foxy good looks but because of her impressive pipes and rock star prowess.
The Swedish band has already had success stateside having rocked the main stage of Warped Tour a few years ago and opening for No Doubt this past summer, so it wasn’t surprising to see them draw a big crowd. The Sounds are a sometimes synthesized pop-rock Blondie for the Paramore generation and the kids at last night’s all-ages affair ate up every second of the band’s 75-minute set. It was a performance that showed the Sounds as a band primed to be rocking arenas on their own headlining tour sometime down the road.
The band’s latest album Crossing The Rubicon expands on its power pop-rock sound and the songs from that record sounded great alongside the band’s older material. “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake” and “Beatbox,” both off Rubicon, were highlights of the set. The piano ballad “Night After Night” had the crowd singing the verses louder than Ivarrson and during “Queen of Apology” and “Hurt You” the kids on the floor pogoed up and down in pop-rock bliss.
As fun as it was to shake and move to the thumping bass and driving guitars, Ivarrson was the show and she knew it. She played to the crowd as she ran the gamut of clichéd rock star emotions ranging from giving the crowd genuine thank yous to shouting out profanities while declaring how hard the band was going to rock. It wasn’t a shtick really; rather it is just how The Sounds are on stage and how Ivarrson expresses herself on stage. This is after all a band that wrote a song about how much they love rock ‘n’ roll called, appropriately enough, “Rock N Roll” (it’s a lot catchier than it sounds).
Opening the night were Foxy Shazam and Semiprecious Weapons, two acts that also would fit well on the Warped stage. The former are a gruff Cincinnati outfit that looks like what might happen if Monotonix and Shim mated, while the later is a fiery glam-rock foursome. The all-ages crowd packing the Showbox on a school night (the show wasn’t sold out, but the venue was pretty full for a weeknight) for the three-act bill served as a pleasant reminder of how much fun rock ‘n’ roll can be when it is done right.