Story: Madisyn Siebert
Photo: Cory Weaver
Toupin Displays the Attraction of Her 'Magnetic Moves'
Sometimes shows end up not as you expect them to, and Katie Toupin’s show was exactly that—
for more reasons than one.
The singer, known for her start in the band Houndmouth, released her debut LP Magnetic Moves in June. She previously released the EP Moroccan Ballroom in 2018, her first solo work since leaving the band.
Toupin’s tour stopped at the Old Rock House in St. Louis, the same night as what may have been one of the city’s most anticipated events of the year: the chance for the St. Louis Blues to win the NHL’s Stanley Cup at home. Even though the Blues fell short, the few who ended up at Toupin’s show got the better end of the stick. Her fans got a fun-loving intimate show, where no one could possibly walk away disappointed.
Dressed in a bright orange jumpsuit, Toupin stood out, contrasted against the dark background the venue supplied. Joining her on stage was her multi-instrumentalist, Michael Chaves, who started the night on drums and was the only “band” she had accompanying her.
Toupin covered a number of songs from her EP, including “Boys Will Be Boys, “Shake Baby” and “Danger.” Along with some of her originals, she performed songs that were yet to be released on her LP a week later.
It took some time for her to find her comfort spot on the stage, but once she did she let her emotions and banter emerge. Toupin’s voice is riddled with vulnerability, the singer fully investing herself into the music. It was easy to see that she was not only a singer but a storyteller, bringing you along for the ride through her feelings and experiences. She helped the audience feel what she experienced while singing, whether that was melancholy or utter happiness.
After three or four songs into her setlist, Toupin began to interact with the crowd. She even allowed two diehard fans to join her on stage as she covered “Take a Walk on the Wild Side.” She had playfully bantered with them before asking them to join her on stage, and their presence and level of excitement made Toupin happy and seemed to please the audience as well.
While Toupin may not have been as relaxed for the entirety of the show, Chaves was. He played her hype man, and in the beginning was almost stealing the show from Toupin. His energy, skill and overall contagiousness made it hard to not watch him. He demonstrated skills as a singer, drummer, guitarist and even more throughout the evening.
For her last song of the night she brought up her opener, Havelin, who was just sitting at the back of the venue for most of Toupin’s set. He eagerly joined her onstage with his own guitar and the two did a cover of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones. The two ricocheting off one another made the audience connect with their infectious energy.
Since the show ended up having a smaller audience than anticipated and no crazy stage set-up, Toupin was forced to rely on her talent to draw the audience into her world. Many artists do not have the skill nor talent to retain an audience, but Toupin proved that no crazy stunts are needed to help tell her stories.
Houndmouth must be extremely disappointed with the departure of Toupin, because she is the show herself, and at the Old Rock House she proved it. Keep your eyes on Toupin, because she will soon enough be taking control of the charts.