Allie X

WayAway Stage, Oro-Medonte ON, July 24

Allie XWayAway Stage, Oro-Medonte ON, July 24
Photo: Rick Clifford
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To some, the most underrated pop record of 2015 wasn't Carly Rae Jepsen's; rather, it was an under-the-radar EP released by Toronto-via-Los Angeles singer Allie Hughes, aka Allie X. Opening the festival's smallest stage first thing on Sunday morning is an unenviable task, but Hughes proved more than up for the challenge.
 
Performing with just her voice keyboard and guitarist, she won over the small but dedicated crowd, showcasing a vocal prowess that blows away most of her pop contemporaries. "I have a question for you WayHome," she said. "Are you feeling X?"
 
Hughes dropped her signature track "Catch" early, indicating that there's more to her sonic palette than that track would suggest. "Prime," from the aforementioned CollXtion I EP, was a particular highlight, while "Bitch" showcased a more aggressive side of her onstage personality.
 
Her black leather dress, reflective shades and accentuated body movements give her a vaguely goth aesthetic, but she routinely broke character to smile or even laugh — clearly, she was having as much fun as the crowd, who were completely won over when she closed her set with "Sanctuary."

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