The last time we spoke to her, Lykke Li was touring in Europe and North America during the fall of 2008. In November, we were delighted to hear the announcement of her North American tour. The tour was launched on Saturday, January 31st in Washington, DC. Annabelle and Atek from Killahbeez attended the sold out DC show at the 6th & I Synagogue (located in downtown DC).
Annabelle: I must say, I wasn’t sold on the idea of seeing a show at a Synagogue, but the venue has consistently gotten some of the best acts in the past few months so I assumed everyone (in DC) just knew something I did not know.
ATek: At the tender age of 22 years old, I was taken back by the Swedish singer’s beautiful voice and amazing live performance. Some musicians are horrible on stage (i.e. Britney ‘lip synching’ Spears) but Lykke Li’s voice was even better in person – this is another reason why I love attending live concerts. I would’ve liked to see her perform at the legendary 9:30 Club but the synagogue’s atmosphere and dim lighting provided an intimate performance by Lykke Li on Saturday night.
The opening act, Wildbirds & Peacedrums took to the stage, while many looked for remaining seats (I hate venues with seats)! Most of the crowd looked completely unprepared for the husband-wife duo, whose sound is mainly comprised of pretty intense percussion (courtesy of Andreas Werliin) & Bjork-esque vocals (wife Mariam Wallentin). The mix is definitely interesting, though I could understand all the blank stares as this is not an act you can get into after just a few songs. That and the fact that there were more than a few shall we say, mature folks in the crowd, they came and went with relatively little crowd reaction.
After a short intermission, Lykke Li’s set immediately garnered the exact opposite response from the crowd. Some enthusiastic fans pushed their way up toward the front to fill what little space existed between the stage and seats to form a “mosh pit” like scene. Lykke Li’s stage presence is something that was completely unexpected and frankly left us both speechless. Even repeated listens to Youth Novels doesn’t prepare you for the force that the girl is on stage. Not to mention her backing band, who took minimal, stripped down numbers and turned them into full-on dancefests.
Lykke’s hip-hop influences were also on full display, from the intensified rhythm of the band, to her serious dance skills while covering Tribe’s “Can I kick it” and a few bars of “A Milli” from ‘lil Wayne. She offered some new (if unfinished) songs and an encore performance completed with “Tonight” that left the entire crowd awe-struck. If you haven’t seen her live yet, we highly suggest you get on it. The girl is quite a force to be reckoned with – Killahbeez can only expect big things to come in the future. As more people become familiar with her in North America, we suspect that Lykke Li will be an up and coming act to watch on the billboard charts, although quite a few of us on Killahbeez had her on our top 10 albums of 2008 list seen here.
Check out the videos that Annabelle and Atek recorded from Lykke Li’s Washington, DC concert (the video quality is horrible but the sound is great):
Her North American tour will wrap up on February 19th in Texas. If you have not purchased tickets to a future show, you better pray that there are a few remaining tickets left. Killahbeez would like thank Lykke Li and her management for giving us the opportunity to attend her show in DC.
DT will be attending her concert in Vancouver on February 11th, stay tuned for his update and photos.