Lennon Stella live at the Danforth

After releasing her breakthrough 5 song EP Love, Me, in 2018, Lennon Stella began her highly anticipated début tour with two sold-out nights at The Danforth Music Hall.

Lennon may be most recently known from her role as Maddie Conrad on the tv show Nashville (2012-2018), but for many fans of hers, her success began just before that on YouTube when her version of Robyn’s Call Your Girlfriend with her sister Maisy Stella went viral. Seven years ago, the world was already watching. Now, at the age of 19, Lennon has experience in the music industry that many artists never earn in a lifetime. From years of performing both on and off of the camera, continuing her solo career only seemed to be a natural progression. Lennon was born and raised in the Oshawa area, making these two Toronto shows extra special. Without knowing what to expect, fans naturally lined up early to claim their spots at the front of the stage. After a high energy opening set by local rockers Valley, Lennon took the stage opening with favourites Like Everybody Else and Feelings. The initial fan response was overwhelming as she took a minute to stare gratefully into the crowd, holding back tears.
Lennon is full of positivity and grace. She dove into a catalogue featuring newer songs expected to be released on her upcoming first album, intertwined with hits off her EP. She was illuminated by shades of blue and pink as her LEDs created a tasteful aesthetic on stage. Both her voice and her movement floated throughout the space as the crowd swayed back and forth mirroring her energy. As many were hoping, Maisy made a surprise appearance on stage to sing a song with her sister. After their scheduled show at Field Trip Music Festival got rained out three years ago, this was a really nice moment for those who were waiting for a reunion in Toronto. They did a stripped-down cover of MGMT’s Kids which highlighted their vocal dynamic impeccably. Lennon was backed by a full band for the majority of the set but did take a few minutes to perform on her own. Stand out moments included her sitting down at the piano for a sentimental cover of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, as well as an acoustic version of her hit song Polaroid which was released with Liam Payne and Jonas Blue last year.
Lennon’s maturity is admirable, but she doesn’t dismiss her youth. Her new music was playful while showing instrumental depth that holds a lot of uniqueness and excitement. I’m sure I can speak on behalf of everyone in the room by saying we are all now anxiously awaiting the recorded versions of the new songs she teased live.
With a massive year ahead touring with The Chainsmokers5 Seconds of Summer, and Anne Marie, this show was just the beginning of something bigger for Lennon.

Words and photos by Morgan Hotston