Maja Ivarsson is a major rock star.
She's not treated as such, at least not in this country. Yet, the Swedish vocalist certainly can rock with the best in the business. She's an absolute force of nature on the live stage.
That point was underscored when Ivarsson's band, the Sounds, performed on Monday night at the Fillmore in San Francisco. She commanded the stage in triumphant fashion throughout the nearly two-hour show, displaying equal amounts of energy, enthusiasm and charisma. She's also blessed with an uncommonly strong singing voice, which adds much bite to the band's updated New Wave sound.
Ivarsson is a throwback, but in a good way. At the Fillmore, Ivarsson evoked memories of such New Wave icons as Debbie Harry and Dale Bozzio (of the Missing Persons), without ever coming across as a copycat.
As good as Ivarsson was, however, the band still wasn't quite as great in concert as on record. That's less of a knock on the band's live show than it is a sign of the group's great ability in the studio. The Sounds have released four albums to date, with a fifth (titled "Weekend") due in stores soon.
Judging from what was heard in San Francisco, that forthcoming disc should be one of the highlights of the fall music season.
Here's what the Sounds performed on Monday night:
1. "Living in America"
2. "Seven Days a Week"
3. "Song with a Mission"
4. "Shake, Shake, Shake"
5, "Something to Die for"
6. "Painted by Numbers"
7. "Wish You Were Here"
9. "4 Songs"
10. "Take It the Wrong Way"
11. "No-One Sleeps"
12. "Hurt the Ones"
13. "Tony the Beat"
14. "Rock N Roll"
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