Allie X, ANAMAI, Animalia @ The Drake 5/20/2015

Allie X made her Toronto debut at last night’s Red Bull Sound Select at the Drake Hotel. For a measly $3 (with an RSVP) attendees were treated to the growing pop sensation as well as ANAMAI and Animalia.

If there was a one word theme that could describe the night “cult” would be it. Each of the acts had this effect but in a different way. Opener Animalia’s performance was primal, animal-like. She was making both music and performance art with her hair swinging and unique style of dancing. Speaking of cults, the group was also selling incense with their download codes.

ANAMAI welcomed you into their world with no gimmicks. This was a full sound experience in complete darkness, which suited the style of Sallows perfectly. I observed people who closed their eyes to imagine their own eery scenes. Even some of the younger audience members around me were truly appreciating the swampy, complex textures. They’re one of those bands who will never really the mainstream but will definitely have a cult following.

For an artist with 7 songs under her belt and was basically born from the internet, a look around the sold out room gave you a glimpse of the future of Allie X. Fans both male and female had dressed in wacky fashion, inspired by Allie’x futuristic look including sun glasses, unique leggings, coloured hair extensions, patterns and more. From the moment she started with COLLXTION I opener “Hello”, everyone was already singing along to the words. And they would do so for the other 6 songs which she pretty much performed in album order. I was actually really surprised that “Catch” and “Bitch” weren’t saved for last.

A white organ of some sort was wheeled to the middle of the stage which acted mostly as a prop for Allie’s set. A bench was moved occasionally by a person dressed in all black. Her band were off to the sides. This was really a show about Allie X and she delivered. Gone are the days of the shy Allie Hughes/ALX. Allie performed every song with the confidence of a pop star on a larger stage and even had moves prepared for each song. During “Sanctuary” the glasses were removed to reveal her beautiful intense eyes. As soon as she was done, she was gone leaving us all yearning for more. I’m sure she will be back soon, but not on so small a stage.