Little Dragon @ The Roxy, August 15, 2011
I love Swedish things. Ikea furniture. Death metal. Swedish fish. The occasional Saab. Well, maybe not meatballs and Abba.
And I love Little Dragon, the electronic pop four-piece from Gothenburg, Sweden, fronted by Japanese-Swedish singer Yukimi Nagano. Evidently the LA scene loves them, too – their show at the Roxy on Monday, August 15, sold out within an hour of going on sale.
Playing with no opening act, the crowd was amped with anticipation waiting for Little Dragon to take the stage around 9:30. A quick glance of their set list from behind a keyboard stand to see what we were in store for, but I couldn’t recognize a single song title. When they started playing the first song, marked “Spegel” on the set list, the unforgettable opening tones of “Looking Glass” filled the room and the crowd started bouncing along with Little Dragon’s tempo. Thank you, Google translator.
Yukimi looked like a post-bohemian Judy Jetson, wearing batik printed cotton pants and a shiny purple futuristic top. Her voice is ethereal, with a sometimes neo-soul tone. Her stage presence is both playful and emotionally exposed.
Yukimi and her band take their familiar tunes like “Never Never” and “Swimming,” and let them ride into dance remixes and drum and synth tangents. When Nagano isn’t crooning the infectious hooks of songs, she’s filling in the gaps dancing around, playing a tambourine, joining bassist Fredrik Källgren Wallin on cowbell, or drumming on an electronic kit that looked like an oversized sparkly Sephora eye shadow set.
The band is on tour supporting their new album “Ritual Union.” Big love for Little Dragon. xoxo