Concert Review: Allie Hughes’ Prom Queen Dream at the El Mocambo, May 14

allie hughes

Like you saw in last week’s preview post, Allie Hughes decided to throw a prom themed concert. She isn’t new to the themed bit, she’s performed a wedding at least twice now. But the prom was timely and a step in a new direction.

Allie performed the same sequence of songs as she did for the wedding, although it might have been mixed up a bit, plus there was definitely a great new song or two added in there. I was curious to see how the plot would work with her songs after the wedding seemed to fit so effortlessly into her music. The prom came across just as well. Basically, the gist is that Allie is in love with a man named Chad. Chad does Allie wrong in the thick of the moment. Havoc ensues. Where the wedding had Allie left at the alter, this time around, after she’s crowned Prom Queen, Chad sings a song with her (this time it was Gentleman Reg) and then proceeds to make out with a man in a sailor costume (for what felt like a full minute!). Cue “Oh Chad!” Oh, and by the way, this prom has all been a dream, and thus with a kiss, it has turned into a nightmare.

Allie consistently shows herself off in every way: from her go-get-em approach to the media, her hard work at planning these themed concerts and then her execution of the performance and her music. She’s one of the most unique female musicians coming out of Toronto at this moment, and I hope she’ll reap more benefits for it soon. She’s dedicated to the craft and the creativity besides the normal routine. Watching her on stage is charming. My prom date — a best friend, doing it right this time — who rarely ever goes to music events, was in total awe of Allie. Her theatrical focus, smiles that would peek out throughout the songs and eccentric moments were selling points. Also impressive was that most of the concert goers actually dressed up as if they were going to prom, and even the male attendees were more into it. Some strapping young men and women, you can’t go wrong with that. Allie also surrounded herself with a strong band, such as her back-up singers (two of the ladies from Rouge, as well as in other projects Green Go, Gentleman Reg) and guitarist Thom Gill (who had pictures of Justin Bieber taped all over his guitar).

Sure, themes are not everyone’s cup of tea, even I’ve turned down my roommates requests to have ridiculously themed house parties. But if you can do it well, get that many people into the whole spiel and talking about it days later, you must run with it. And to top it all off, definitely add a cover at the end like Allie does (Britney Spears’ “Toxic”).

For a play by play, read my friend Steve Fischer’s show notes on Torontoist.

Stream four songs and watch tons of videos of Allie performing.

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