Rodrigo Amarante has a knack for entertaining and kept everyone in good-spirits as he opened up for Angel Olsen’s second sold-out show in Toronto. It’s easy to overlook Amarante’s popularity and influence due to his humble nature. Between songs he adamantly professed, “I’m the luckiest man alive!” and thanked the crowd simply for facing in his direction. Amarante gained popularity in the Brazilian band Los Hermanos and later formed Little Joy with Binki Shapiro and Fabio Moretti from The Strokes before embarking on a solo career. A talented musician in his own right, he whistled, played guitar, and sang songs in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Even though I wasn’t able to decipher most of what he was saying, the romantic and calming sentiment of his music translated through the language-barrier. Amarante displayed so much gratitude—constantly bowing to the audience and even praying on one knee, it was hard not to smile throughout.
Rodrigo Amarante-Sept 25, 2026
There’s nothing one could say about Angel Olsen that would accurately describe her impact on my life. Her first full-length album Half Way Home was the soundtrack that carried me through last winter. The first time I saw her live was during NXNE in 2015 at the Mod Club. At that time, Olsen took the stage on her own, with just a guitar and her voice, and left everyone enraptured. I remember people crying all around me. I have been hooked ever since. Olsen’s latest release, MY WOMAN is an expansion from her earlier folk-rock/lo-fi/country sound, and features ambitious instrumental moments amid long expansive songs, as well as catchy, fast-paced, attitude-filled rock anthems.
Lee’s Palace heated up, reaching full capacity by the time Angel Olsen was set to start. After a cool, synth-filled intro bathed in blue light, Olsen took the stage with her band who were dressed in matching pale blue suits. Olsen’s touring band included two guitarists, a bassist, a backup singer/synth player/tambourinist, and a drummer/synth player. That night was extra special because they were celebrating the bassist’s birthday with balloons onstage and talks of a karaoke party afterwards. Early on in the night they started out with the fast-paced rock anthem “Shut Up Kiss Me” followed by slower songs like “Lights Out” from Burn Your Fire for No Witness. They performed a drawn-out version of “Acrobat” from Half Way Home which started out quiet but progressed into a full-blown rock song by the end. “Not Gonna Kill You” turned into a glorious, rhythmic rock song with more grit and flavour than the recorded version. Olsen is a formidable singer and lyricist. As she closed the night out with “Woman”, she left a strong impression that truly blew me away.
Angel Olsen-Sept 25, 2016