We loved, loved, loved ZZ Ward’s Toronto Concert

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                                                                                                                                        Photo by Erin Coholan

The Opera House welcomed American alternative pop artist, ZZ Ward on tour promoting her latest album, Love and War. Toronto was her only Canadian stop on the tour and the crowd, an eclectic mix of ages, took a while to get into the groove of the show. Sensing the stiff nature of the crowd, she worked hard to engage her audience and used the intimate venue to her advantage.       

When she wasn’t chatting with the audience, she was showcasing incredible onstage chemistry with her backing band. As her guitarist broke into an intense guitar solo, it was clear how genuinely impressed and excited she was. The talent of the band was seen on songs like “Ride or Die,” where she delivered near-perfect harmonies and hit every note with an effortless grace. Before launching into a soulful and emotional rendition of “Rescue” off Love and War, she thanked the crowd for sticking with her through her extended break. She explained that she wasn’t expecting fans to wait it out and that she was extremely grateful that they did and came out to the show.

A highlight of the show was her unexpected cover of Nick Jonas’s 2014 hit, “Chains.” The song took on a new feel when delivered by a hard-hitting female vocalist and went from an orchestrated pop hit to an evocative story of a strained relationship. Combining a rough southern twang with a deep blues feel, Ward weaved her way through a variety of different genres on songs like “Charlie Ain’t Home” and “Criminal.”

The crowd started to pick up towards the end, especially during “Blue Eyes Blind”. During her encore, Ward was prompted by the crowd to play “365” then walked into the audience with her guitarist to play “LOVE 3X.” The show ended in adorable fashion as the crowd and ZZ Ward all danced together singing out  “love, love, love.” 

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                                                                                                                                       Photo by Erin Coholan

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