Lido Pimienta Hillside, Guelph ON, July 15

Lido Pimienta Hillside, Guelph ON, July 15
Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa
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La Papessa has been quite the chapter in the life of Lido Pimienta. It started with the Colombian-Canadian electronic artist making the move to Toronto with her young son in tow, learning to self-produce her music, and an album release riddled with lengthy delays. Once the album dropped in 2016, Pimienta's rise was fast and furious, culminating in international attention and a Polaris Music Prize. La Papessa has rightfully ferried Pimienta to the lofty platform she's been destined for, where her messages of sociopolitical upheaval and effusive self-love can be heard as clearly as the soprano voice that drives her songs.
 
And so, the La Papessa chapter has ended with this Hillside performance, with Pimienta three weeks away from giving birth to her second child, and with new album Miss Colombia also on its way. Under the shade of the tented Island Stage, Pimienta bid farewell to the La Papessa era with another signature scorching live performance, complete with lengthy, engaging anecdotes about her experiences and how she channelled them into her art.
 
Joined by Kvesche Bijon-Ebacher on electronics and Brandon Valdivia handling percussion, Pimienta's jubilant renditions of the La Papessa tracks found her commanding the stage with strong vocal performances, leading the crowd through sing-alongs — if they weren't too transfixed by her inimitable stage presence. Her boundless energy, impeccable style and infectious dance moves were unhindered by the fact that she's mere weeks away from giving birth.
 
Though the songs (as we know them) and anecdotes of La Papessa have become familiar fare over the last few years, it's exciting to be on the precipice of the next chapter of this uncompromising artistic force. Her Hillside set was a celebration of all she has accomplished with La Papessa, both musically and through her cult of personality.
 

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