Lykke Li @ Esplanade, Singapore

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Looked at my watch. 9.15pm. Tsk. 45 minutes late. (Expected I suppose, as they’ve started closing down roads for F1 happening that same week). Looked to my left, my boyfriend looks like a teenager about to go on his first date. He didn’t even look that nervous on OUR first date. Everyone’s anxious. Anticipation, as thick as the make-up on some of these girls’ faces.

Text Adriana Saleh

Images Jonathan Kwa + Joanna Kwa

Before I could get any cattier, the lights dimmed and drums started banging dramatically. A sure sign the concert’s about to begin. A petite woman glides pass, RIGHT in front of me (I’m two rows from the front. Don’t be hatin’) from stage left to the center. And then… all hell broke loose. The crowd surged forward, numbered seats were forsaken, security panicked. It was the perfect pandemonium to go with Lykke Li’s opening song, ‘Jerome’.

It was blatantly clear that Lykke Li meant business that night. She was sniper-like. In. Out. Zero nonsense. Post-‘Jerome’, she launched an on slew attack of songs, one after the other. ‘I’m Good, I’m Gone’ followed by ‘Sadness Is A Blessing, I Follow Rivers’ and ‘Silent My Song’. ONLY after delivering these songs did she stop to interact with the crowd. But even then it was brief. Some might even say, cold. But then again diehard fans know that Lykke Li’s shyness is often mistaken as frigidity.

Just like an engine, Lykke Li took time to warm up. Things started to get hot with ‘Dance Dance Dance’. A medley mash up of ‘Youth Knows No Pain’ with Kanye’s ‘Power’ was off the hook. My hip hop-head boyfriend looked like he was jizzing. And before you could say, “Goddaym this woman’s talented!” Lykke Li did ‘I Know Places’ acoustic. Strumming on what looked like a cross between a Chinese harp and a CDJ, she crooned and bled emotions like a true champion. It was a nice break from the heavy drum-based set she had going on.

The highlight of the concert (as many who was there would agree) was when a crazed female fan jumped on stage and hijacked ‘Get Some’. Lykke Li’s look of surprise was priceless! She retreated to banging on the cymbals as the crazy fan proceeded to orchestrate a sing-a-long with the audience. Crazy lady, I salute you.

All in all, it was a good solid set of 14 songs. 16, counting the 2 encores on piano: ‘Possibility’, of the Twilight soundtrack fame and ‘Love Unrequited’. At the end of it, I can’t help but feel that Lykke Li treated this concert as a sorta rehearsal for her gig at Park Life in Australia that same weekend. IMHO, I felt like I was just part of a really well-organized, expensive sound-check. Lykke Li, I love you. How could this happen? *sigh* Now excuse me while I go stuff my face with some Swedish meatballs to fill the void left from the disappointment of her usually stellar performances.

Lykke Li – LIVE! Happened at Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore on 21 September 2011.

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