With a sweat towel in one hand and a mic in the other, LÉON charmingly lamented about “being hungover in this heat though…” in a stuffy, crowded, & sold-out Basement East.

NASHVILLE, TN- LÉON ended her ‘You and I’ World Tour in Nashville last week and even though it was hot as can be, it did not affect her performance (or the reception of it) one bit. If anything, it connected her to the audience further as we shared in a sweaty celebration of emotive anthems and vulnerable ballads.

Her stage props fit her sonic aesthetic quite well — there were bright, antique lamps and large house plants which was not only the perfect tropical vibe to welcome in summer, but it worked with her sound: homey pop. Most of her music is upbeat and dynamic but her lyrics always cut to this feeling of being alone in your bedroom, heartbroken and confused, but dancing anyway.

Her opener was, appropriately, the opener on the album “Lost Time.” She was immediately captivating and impressive. She’s a performer you don’t feel self-conscious for, and she’s a singer you never lack confidence in. Her vocal control was so natural and her energy matched her music — fun and dancey but composed when needed.

She did different vocal runs than the ones on the record throughout the night, and I remember her specifically nailing them on “Falling” and “Better in the Dark.” I love unexpected melodic nuances when hearing an artist live.


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She shared with the crowd: “I’m sad! I don’t want tour to end. I’m having the time of my life up here,” after humbly shrugging off an extra applause for “Hope is a Heartache.”

She played upbeat tracks from her full-length album first and then transitioned into ballads, and the band gradually got more stripped-down. She got very honest and vulnerable about the guy that inspired “Body” from her 2017 EP Surround Me (that then seamlessly went into a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”).

“You’ve heard my music…it often goes to shit.” Everyone cheered.

“I Believe In Us” from that same EP was a crowd favorite. She then played “Cruel to Care” which is one of my favorites because it’s such a bold choice to include a voice memo on a debut album. She performed it backed by an acoustic guitar and a laid-back beat — which I thought would’ve been better just her. But then she did “Come Home To Me” totally stripped down so all was well in my world.

The most-streamed track from her album “You and I” was her “closer,” and after what she named “the loudest crowd of the tour” cheered for more, she came back with “Tired of Talking” (2015) and her most-streamed “Surround Me,” a sultry groove that so perfectly encapsulates being young and being direct about the need to cure loneliness.

LÉON was so captivating and lovely, and truly put on a near perfect show. Next time I’d love to see her with some live BGVs, and not dying of the Tennessee heat.

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LÉON. Photos by Sandra Thorsson. Courtesy of the artist. Used with permission.
LÉON. Photos by Sandra Thorsson. Courtesy of the artist. Used with permission.