Lykke Li @ Stratos (By:Larm)

Stratos. A very glamorous venue, in a way, considering that it’s delegates only (good thing I am in the staff and have a blue, all-access pass) and that it’s on the top floor of a building right in the center from which you can have a panorama of the whole city at night. Most of the clientele is kind of nicely dressed, everywhere there’s sparkly earrings and the clinking of glasses (which doesn’t mean that the club doesn’t have its share of sleazy weirdos). I’m trying to remember why I didn’t like Lykke Li live the first time I saw her, since I like her music; what was it that disturbed me so much in her performance three months ago? the second she comes onstage at Stratos I remember: she is one, huge, bloated-up, chicken-like-dancing, legging-wearing EGO. Don’t get me wrong: I know very well that part of being in the business consists in having a huge ego, being selfish and slightly arrogant, etc.. but usually, even the most arrogant types acknowledge their audience and/or their musicians (especially when one is not a musician him/herself). Not in this case, though. Lykke Li might as well be a 14-year-old pretty girl dressed in her mother’s 80′s clothes dancing in front of the mirror; it’s just her and no one else. Throughout her whole performance she keeps pretty much touching herself (the upper part anyway) like a modern-day Madonna with less style and no self-irony at all. She doesn’t smile, she has a choreography that had already been practised at Hulen when she opened for the Shout Out Louds, all of it is fake, artificial show. I will not say that it’s boring because it’s hilarious how ridiculous she is on that stage. It does get depressing after a while though: she got amazing reviews for her live performances, including for the one on that night (the review came out in the By:Larm news the following day). Are people blind AND deaf? Did they not notice that she did not hit the right notes at the beginning of “Tonight”, or that her song that has been defined as a “crafty nod to Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side” (Eden Parke, By:Larm News, February 23rd) is actually pure plagiarism? Did everyone think that her ‘gangsta-rappin’ in the last song she played was ‘witty’? She’s not witty, she’s not deep and she’s not a good live act. If you want a show, go see Britney Spears, or get some old concerts of the Spice Girls or Madonna on dvd. If you want irony and wit, go see Soko, Ida Maria or Regina Spektor. If you want depth, any indie singer-songwriter will be deeper than her. But please, please, don’t go through the painful process of paying for a Lykke Li show to stand around puzzled asking yourself if her chicken-dance is the new macarena.

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