by / December 15th, 2008 /

Lykke Li, Store Vega, Copenhagen

We were so smitten with Lykke Li in 2008 we had to have another listen to her in concert. Here is our final Lykke live 2008 review.

Proving a long time theory wrong, apparently a good gig CAN be great without a beer. With a mere cola, and our equally sober mate Johan for company, Lykke Li is in town on a seemingly endless tour climbing through bigger and bigger venues all the time. And she’s really getting more fantastic. She has an awesome band behind her (and her name in big lights less anyone think the small blonde Swede is the shy retiring type). Her odd, staccato delivery sets her apart and it’s impossible to say she is one thing or another except visually fascinating. Adorned with black toga, silver chains and a shiny kazoo it’s not that you want to bring her home but rather sneak into her house, go through her books and look under her bed. From the first moment of whirling movement she’s a ball of curious energy taking it out on the crash cymbal to her left.

Most impressively, there’s so much thought and effort gone in to re-imagining the songs live, dipping in and out of covers that sometimes, you’re not sure if she’s singing one of her own, a cover OR a cover of a remix of her own song. -Complaint Department’ bursts into -Sound Of Da Police’, -Hanging High’ is completely different (and better) than on the album and -Breaking It Up’ pops open when the band join her in the chorus like the Bee Gees on steroids and helium. Souping up these tunes gives the live show a truly special vibe to them. No-one seems to be waiting for any particular song and even though the crowd are hiding it, everyone must feel like dancing. We do anyhow, and we have a little shimmy.

Another gift is delivered in the form of Kings Of Leon’s -Knocked Up’ and it could have been written for her. Only joyful, it’s not a concert but a show. Everyone gets a chance to sing ‘Une, deux, trois’¦’ along with a belting version of -Time Flies’ – barely recognisable from the slow and reserved-by-comparison album track.

A rousing encore brings that glorious moment when we’re all singing along to the bassline of The Velvet’s -Walk On The Wild Side’, ‘do, do-do, do-do’¦’ and so on, then she explodes into -Can I Kick It’. Aah, yes. This is why we leave our warm homes and soft cushions on evenings such as this. As Ms. Li mentioned to State after the show, it’s like the glorious ’50s when everyone covered each others songs and put on a performance with it. A lush, rich vista populated by a Swedish pop genius, vampire weekends and tribes called Quest. Long live the queen.

– 11 December 2008.

Lykke Li Dublin photo from Claire Weir.