Lykke Li & El Perro del Mar @ the El Rey, 05.19.08

We don't tend to write about live shows anymore, but ... Lykke Li (MySpace) is simply too goo to be passed up and, additionally, not written about. The Swedish chanteuse finally graced the States with her soulful voice on a smallish tour in support of El Perro del Mar (MySpace). It was really good.

Let's first get the photos out of the way, here, as you all really need to see them in order to understand what a phenomenal performance last night's show was. Here's the Flickr set. You can also flip through the shots in the media player widget after the jump.

The show was opened by Anna Ternheim (MySpace), an exciting folksy solo act out of Stockholm. She sounded a bit like Thom Yorke doing solo stuff as a woman in the vein of Swedish folk. Got it?

Lykke Li was the second act for the night and boy did she blow L.A.'s socks off. The shortish vocalist has some chops, that's for sure, and belted song after song out. Starting with some of the slower material from the long-player and U.S. EP, Lykke Li enchanted the near-capacity crowd. The way she moves on stage is mesmerizing ... sort of like a combination of hip-hop backup dancer moves and the choreographed steps of the Shirelles or something. Each and every song had a live vitality and vigor to it that doesn't shine through as much as it should on the studio material ... bass lines dipped and dived out of the sonic waves led by Lykke Li and her solid, slightly hyperactive drummer; keyboard melodies fleshed out the minimalistic lyricism; the reverb of the cavernous El Rey furthermore expanded the sound. This is what Lykke Li needs: a large hall to air her sound out in ... a place that can boast the gal's bold vocal talent.

El Perro del Mar picked up where Lykke Li left off. Mostly pulling from her debut album, her set was more vivid and energetic than one would expect it to be. While both Lykke Li and del Mar are, doubtless, penners of rather sad songs, they express the tunes with a vim and vam that's exciting and all the more emotive. Be sure to check out any or all of the artists when they come through your town (hopefully they'll be back soon)! A jaw-dropper is in store for you ...

Lykke Li - Little Bit (Live)

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