Friday, May 9, 2008

Do You Lykke Li?

Last night's El Perro Del Mar/Lykke Li show at the Bowery Ballroom reaffirmed a standard drunken frat boy belief I've long ignored till now : Swedish girls are, in fact, pretty freakin' awesome.

The triple female Swede bill was a showcase of sullen valleys and frenetic, neck breaking peaks. Unheralded Swedish opener Anna Ternheim kicked things off on a rather somber, if not surprisingly mediocre note with an innocuous cover of Bowie's "China Girl" (taking a bow every other song; really?)

For most of the crowd, the main event was blogosphere It Girl and soon-to-be-whored-out-by-some-commercial-that-will-drive-us-to-disown-her-cause-she's-so-fucking-catchy-good, Lykke Li owned the night with boundless energy, enthusiasm, and cute as a button goodness. (She was also the subject of a spirited debate amongst hipsters: "It's not 'Like-Lee,' it's 'Leak-e-Lee." "No, I definitely heard it pronounced, 'Lick-a-Lie.'")

One of my favorite singles of the year so far, "I'm Good, I'm Gone" closed her set nicely, invigorating the crowd with an energy that appeared to ignite them towards the flaming youthful wilderness of night (as evidenced by the mass exodus of spectators that left the Bowery nearly half empty by the time El Perro Del Mar took the stage).

The half empty house that remained got a nice, quaint, and glaringly stark drop off in energy courtesy of the Sea Dog, who quickly followed Lykke Li's set with a shy, reserved performance. Unlike her young, interactive counterpart, Sarah Assbring kept her words terse and minimal, at times allowing momentary guitar tuning breaks to drown in awkward silence. Although her performance was as beautiful and calculated as it always is, it was disappointing to see her surprisingly nervous energy translate to boredom by concertgoers, who loudly talked over much of her set.

Gradually, Assbring relaxed onstage as Lykke Li joined her for several songs as well as the encore, closing out the evening with a satisfying, though uneven performance by a soft spoken veteran somewhat upstage by her charming young counterpart.

(Via baonguyen)

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