If sitting around watching reruns of The Voice is your forte, Sunday night would have been a perfect opportunity to turn off the television and experience one of the most beautiful voices in music today, courtesy of Lykke Li. (Note: There is good reason U2 features the songstress on Songs of Innocense’ closing track, “The Troubles.”) Lykke Li’s voice is the driving force on her latest album, I Never Learn; an album she self-accesses as “a bummer”. The reality is much the opposite and in the live arena, it’s quite clear the Swedish songstress has her eyes set on perfection.
Lykke Li was masterful at First Avenue; balancing her new tunes of heartbreak against the more “upbeat” back catalog. Fan favorites like “Sadness Is A Blessing,” “Dance Dance Dance” and “I Follow Rivers” were used to bridge and shift momentum as she worked her way through nearly the entirety of “I Never Learn.” While she may not take the credit, Li sounded incredible on “Gun Shot,” “Never Gonna Love Again” and “Just Like A Dream.”
She dug into Bruce Springsteen’s catalog for a cover of her favorite American song, “I’m On Fire.” “Dance, Dance, Dance” turned morphed into a call response as she sung the refrain and had the audience hum between. “Youth Knows No Pain” took on 2013/14 update with the inclusion of Kanye West/Daft Punk “Send It Up.” After the set closing “Get Some,” Li returned for the gorgeous “Du Är Den Ende” (sung entirely in Swedish) and the show closing “Heart of Steel.”
Not to be dismissed, Li’s backing band brought her music to life. Notably, backing vocalist
Kicki Halmos pushed Lykke’s voice to all new levels as their voices meshed perfectly. Halmos was able to carry vocal refrains as Li banged away on the cymbals in tracks like “Get Some.”
Stockhom songstress Mapei joined Lykke Li for a rousing opening set of soulful and funky R& B. With the assistance of musicians Eddie Cole (on drums) and Neon Phoenix (on keys/bass), Mapei gave fans a taste of her upbeat funk. She had the crowd dancing on “Don’t Wait” and “Change” and you could see her confidence boosting as the set climaxed with a gorgeous (and worthy) cover of Outkast’s “Prototype.” I will go as far as to say fans should be thanking Lykke Li for introducing this talent to the masses.
For information on upcoming Lykke Li dates, click here.
I Never Learn
Sadness Is A Blessing
Just Like A Dream
No Rest For The Wicked
Dance, Dance, Dance
I’m On Fire [Bruce Springsteen Cover]
I Follow Rivers
Never Gonna Love Again
Youth Knows No Pain/Send It Up (Outro) [Kanye West/Daft Punk]
Du Är Den Ende
Heart of Steel