Lykke Li In Toronto – A Review

November 20, 2011 at 5:08 pm (Uncategorized)

Damn, now I want to buy a Volvo.

OK, so Sweden has produced quite a number of significant cultural artifacts: Abba, Bjorn Borg, IKEA, etc. etc. And so, Lykke Li came back to town for her second Toronto show this year, this time at the much larger Sound Academy instead of the Phoenix. 

It took me a while to admit to myself I liked Lykke Li. Youth Novels passed me by, and probably the first I saw of her was the eye-catching video for “Get some.” Eventually, I picked up the record, and was hooked. It’s a blend of alt-pop mixed with that classic Phil Spector sound. How could you not love it?  

Opening act First Aid Kit were already on stage when I got there. The band consists of a pair of Swedish sisters who performed a folky set of sincere but catchy tunes. Their initial claim to fame was a Fleet Foxes cover on You Tube, but they are more substantial than that.  For me, the only distraction was that one of the sisters looked as if she had worn her Hogwarts dress robes to the show, but I digress.   

First Aid Kit

Accompanied by dry ice and strobe lights Lykke Li took the stage at a little after 9:30 with ” Jerome,”  and in the hour-long set ran through the high points of her second album Wounded Rhymes, and there were plenty of them: “I Follow Rivers,” “Rich Kid Blues,” “Get Some” and blasting “Youth Knows no Pain” through a megaphone all did the trick.

Lykke Li

Continuing the Hogwarts theme, Lykke appeared to have borrowed Professor Snape’s costume for the early part of the set, and the thrashing of a drumstick seemed as if she was trying to cast a spell over us  through her own wall of sound. And in a nod to Phil Spector’s influence, Lykke also performed the Righteous Brothers “Unchained Melody.” (produced by Spector) (Stream and download it at Stereogum).

And then, almost without warning it was done.

Lykke Li

Despite the measly one song encore, “Unrequited Love, ” the show left the audience delighted. Of course, the fact that someone broke into my car by smashing my back window during the show was a bit of a downer to an otherwise memorable evening. (I suppose one could argue, that after that I’ll never forget the evening, but…)

That Volvo, perhaps with an alarm, looks better and better.

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1 Comment

  1. First Aid Kit in Toronto – A review « Notes from Underground said,

    […] saw First Aid Kit last year when they open for Lykke Li, but as my main memory of that night was that my car was broken into, their return to Toronto […]

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