Wednesday, February 20, 2008

how swede it is: jens lekman @ lido (feb 16)

Saturday night my friend Liz and I went to see Jens Lekman at Lido here in Berlin. Unfortunately, a hideous band called Leash opened up for him (why on Earth ever). The music was O.K. The lead singer was annoying, but the guitarist and bassist (who were practically making love to their instruments on stage) topped even him. What's funny is that the band's decal started to peel off the drums during their set. And by the end it had completely fallen off! I wish I could say they rocked it off, but I'm afraid it crept off in pure shame. I was even falling asleep standing during their performance and had to sit down. But as soon as Jens came on stage, the whole energy in Lido was magically transformed and I was wide awake! Jens, his band, and the gig were all absolutely dreamy (in the most non-put-you-to-sleep sort of way!).

Most memorable that night (in no particular order):

1. Jens' white patent leather shoes and his cute footwork making my heart beat like Ringo (see the first video below).

2. Jens' funny song introductions, in particular to "A Postcard to Nina". Unfortunately, it didn't dawn on me to record it until the funniest bit was over, but see the second video below for the last part of the intro and the entire song. It's basically about him coming to Berlin to visit his penpal Nina. He takes the 20-hour bus trip for 20 euros instead of the one-hour flight for 25 euros--but knowing Berlin he figures he can put those 5 euros to good use--and fuck easyjet and ryanair! Anyway, when he gets to Berlin it turns out that Nina, who's about to move to NYC with her girlfriend, has told her parents that she's actually moving to NYC with her boyfriend--Jens!

3. During "Pocketful of Money" the audience started singing along with Jens in canon (the part that goes "I'll come running with a heart on fire") and I've honestly never heard an audience sound soooooo good (it was as if a professional choir was singing backup and it even gave me goosebumps!).

4. Jens' storytelling hand gestures during "It Was a Strange Time in My Life".

5. A dancebreak during one of the songs, involving Jens and his band fake flying around the stage. Very Peter Panish, actually, now that I think about it.

6. When Jens came out after the audience tried to get him to do a second encore, he said gave the most precious goodbye speech. I didn't have enough memory to record it, but luckily Liz has an elephant's memory and according to her it went something like this: "Thank you, Thank you much. But I just can't play anymore, on this stage..I'll mess it up or just fall over. but thank you so much, i can never resist stomping...and I would really like to go dancing...After doing a silly interview backstage. Will there be dancing? Will there be a club after the show?"

7. And I just loved how each band member was wearing a key around their neck.

After the show, Liz and I reluctantly left Lido and traipsed over to West Germany to try and catch the Japanther gig, but it had ended like a minute before we arrived. D'oh! But I guess one out of two amazing gigs in one night ain't bad. In the Japanther's aftermath, we found my sweaty but ecstatic friend Jan-Christian and compared post-gig notes with Jens' fellow Gothenburgians Robin and Erik.

And I just saw that Jens is playing SXSW in March. JENS, I'm ready to be heartbroken. Again!


almost tropical said...

dude your photos are amazing!!

also dude, i swear it was the fourth encore when he came out and said he couldnt do any more. amazing!!!

(an)drea said...

thanks!...dude, i think you're right. must've been so lightheaded from all the dreaminess that i forgot. i stand corrected!