Lykke Li is an inspiring figure within my sphere of pop culture. Considering that she's had a short stint as a fashion model, I think she's very gracefully made the transition into "pop star" without needing to add the usual elements and sex and sugar. It's no secret that she's got stunning good looks but she doesn't use them when it comes to her on stage persona. Her show is all about creating an atmosphere that focuses solely on the music.
Above the stage, multiple streams of long black fabric hung from the ceiling and gleaming white lights oscillated off of the silhouettes of unrecognizable figures on the platform. A build up of dramatic percussion finally led one of those figures to turn and face the crowd. Lykke was dressed in a black, flowing tunic that only revealed her head and hands. Her hair pulled back into a slick yet glamorous bun, and her intense eyes focused in on her audience.
Smoke was all the while rising from the floor in dramatic form and immersed the audience. She introduced the show with a song off of Wounded Rhymes called "Jerome", a drum heavy song about denial over a love that no longer exists. She swayed and belted into the mic like a soulful diva. After she set the mood for the evening, she pulled out a classic to warm up the crowd: "I'm Good I'm Gone". Lykke grabbed a pair of the nearest drumsticks and pounded fiercely on the cymbals accordingly and encouraged patrons to get they're hands clapping.
The evening carried on in a theatrical matter, each song accompanied by a very specific visual texture that was hypnotizing. Li is such a fierce and lively character on stage. She is constantly moving and feeling every single moment. Her hands and arms would repeatedly make elegant gestures and pound her modest fists against her chest. She powered through such songs as "I Follow You", "Paris Blues", "Little Bit", & "Love Out of Lust". During "Rich Kid Blues", the perpetual white lights turned into a deep, blood red and you could really feel the darkness of the seemingly poppy song. Towards the end of her set, all the lights went down and the speakers erupted with a witch-house techno song. Strobe lights then flashed in a manic matter. Lykke covered herself in the on-stage fabric props to create ghost like images by pushing her body and face into them. It was wild to say the least.
Lykke came out for an encore to end to the night with "Youth Knows No Pain" and "Requited Love", two under-rated (yet very much appreciated) songs off Wouned Rhymes. This show was spectacular and inspiring. LL will forever have my unrequited music love.