Lykke Li - The Observatory - August 12, 2014
It's 9:15 p.m. and the lights begin to flicker as smoke settles onto the stage. Two men in suit jackets sit side by side on keyboards as a lady with a black turtleneck and circular bun stands motionless. Their synchronized and polished look commands the room for a moment until the Swedish indie pop sensation, Lykke Li, appears.
Her hands thump against her heart and reach passionately for the audience as she begins to sing, "where the blue moon shines/where the tears melt ice/ in a sea of guilt/ by the fallen stars/lonely chimes, sing of pain/there's a storm, only love remains." The crowd goes wild as she concludes her first song, "I Never Learn" and next moves right along to "Sadness Is A Blessing."
In the wake of her newly released third album, I Never Learn, the 28 year-old Swedish songstress made a trip out to the Observatory to share her latest electro pop musings with a sold-out crowd. "California is the best place. Let's make this night count," Li says after stepping out on stage. "Are you guys hydrated enough? Are you stoned enough? To dream a little dream with me?" She sings "Just Like A Dream" and a sea of lavender wristbands sway throughout the sold out venue. The song is just about to end when the intro to Drake's "Started From The Bottom" begins to play and Li sways her long wavy hair, working the stage with bellbottomed pants and a black trench that she occasionally knocks off her shoulders.
Moving along to "No Rest For The Wicked," the new single off of her shortest, most aurally ambitious album to date, she stops halfway through the song and says, "come on ladies, you know what that's like, a lonely night-there's no rest for the wicked." A man from the crowd screams, "I love you!" She tells the audience to light up and she goes on to sing "Jerome" swaying hips ever so slightly and moving her fingertips in a wave formation in the air.
"You want to dance? Can you help me? I'm not a very good dancer. Show me how to do it in Sahnta Annaa" she says with an accent. She climbs onto the speakers and sings "Dance, Dance, Dance" looking down at a group of girls pausing to ask, "I thought we were doing this together?!" Everyone laughs and soon enough the room is all swaying and singing in unison. Next up is "Never Gonna Love Again" a song that she says is perfect for when you have nobody to dance with. Lighters and iPhone's fill the hands of gazers that are not only witnessing this dream like quality, that Li possesses, but also that have now become apart of it.