photos by Hilary Harris
review by RJ Cubarrubia
With a cherubic voice and an equally angelic face, Sweden’s Lykke Li has been a hot commodity this past year (seriously, who tours this much behind their debut album?). On February 13, the reputation of her energetic live show packed the Showbox at the Market, where many in the all-ages crowd had their first opportunity to see her.
Setting the tone for a fun night, openers (and fellow Swedes) Wildbirds & Peacedrums were impressive. With prominent and distinct female vocals and a very loud percussive sound, the male/female duo filled the venue. The band’s dance-y, bare bones, and sometimes tribal sound was a fitting appetizer to Lykke Li’s exciting set and was well received by the crowd.
Lykke Li began her set alone on stage with the popular “Dance, Dance, Dance” as her band gradually joined her onstage. She looked extremely comfortable dressed in an excessively large scarf with a bizarre loose-fitting full body robe that can only be described as a North-African Snuggie (which consequently sounds like a prime target for Muppet-poachers); it’s impressive how she stayed awake, alert, and energetic in such luxurious jams. After asking the crowd if they “were ready to dance dance dance,” Lykke tore through an almost hour long set while continuously dancing like a Shaman determined to fight droughts. Lykke Li played highlights, like “Complaint Department,” “Hanging High,” and “Window Blues,” but also played tracks not on her album, including her recent collaboration with Kleerup, titled “Until We Bleed”, an unknown new song, a short cover of Lil Wayne’s “A Milli”, and a full cover of A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It?” Between her interesting dress and convulsive rain-dances, I’m sure Lykke’s crops this year will be plentiful; hopefully the harvest will include more new songs or even an album. Lykke Li is an impressive live performer and I hope she stays on the beat a while longer.