Lykke Li: Tripod Dublin

Standing in line at Tripod on Saturday night, surrounded by a bevy of young beauties, high heeled and dolled up in glad rags and warpaint I was reminded that Lykke Li is making her mark on the mainstream. This was not the usual muso gig-going crowd. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. Did it affect the atmosphere at the gig? Yes I believe so. Am I an overly possessive music snob? Probably.

The stage was draped in swathes of black satin and smoke and strobe lights set the scene. Lykke Li and her band emerged from the dazzling fog, opening with Jerome from her recent Wounded Rhymes album. Typical of much of this album, with a darkness looming large; the tone was set. The crowd’s clapping and cheers for the subsequent tracks from her debut Youth Novels were notably louder. Already it felt like something was amiss.

Though never actually appearing uncomfortable on stage, Li was not a natural performer and only ever really let go when she banged away at the floor tom and crash cymbal to her side for Dance Dance Dance. Her live sound is richly layered and as well executed as her records, augmented by two drummers. But with so many down tempo songs in tonight’s set, and a lukewarm reaction from the crowd, the gig never really took off. A possible solution to presenting the slower material might have been to use them to build up to the faster more danceable tracks like Get Some, which appeared mid-set and was therefore underwhelming.

Leaving the venue (always a nightmare and surely a major fire hazard in Tripod) I could not shake the feeling that this had been just a mediocre gig, lacking much of the magic that her albums sparkle with. I bumped into her band later in Anseo on Camden Street. Enjoying a few well earned post gig pints they shared none of my feelings on the atmosphere in Tripod. Maybe I was alone in thinking that the performance landed somewhat off target, or maybe Lykke Li has her sights set elsewhere.

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