Video, Review and Pics: Lykke Li At Highline Ballroom


Words, Photos and Video by Xiomara Amelia

With no advanced tickets or last minute connections, I trooped to the West Side of Manhattan for my very first experience at Highline Ballroom for the Swedish songstress Lykke Li. If you’ve never heard of her, it’s about time you do your music research because her debut album,  Youth Novels, topped everyone’s 2008 favorites list, including ours.

I knew that witnessing this alterna-pop princess would be nothing short of extraordinary. The show was completely sold out. Like a true concert-goer, I was determined to purchase a single ticket from a fan. With my luck, I scored and made my way to the Highline Ballroom.

The concert was incredible. Lykke marched to the beat of her own drum as the waves of her emotion poured out into a sold out crowd. Sharing the stage with her drummer, keyboardist and guitarist they quickly moved into the first song of the night, “Dance Dance Dance." Armed with a tambourine, bell and drum stick, Lykke found her way, connecting with the crowd immediately through percussion and swagger. She moved into hits, “I’m Good I’m Gone” and “Little Bit,” during which she sang out the last lyric of the song, “Only if you can get me a whiskey," like she meant it. I smiled. This free spirit had a sense of humor.

Lykke, feeling brave, also decided to perform a brand new song for us. Only 3 days old, the song was dark and brooding and still in development. I didn’t catch the title of the song but it felt good to know she shared it with NYC on her last US appearance. To put us in a dance mood, Lykke prepared us with a little story about her young drinking days in Sweden as she announced the room was about to turn into a techno party. “Complaint Department” set the crowd off into a frenzy of dance moves on the floor. Another highlight for me was her rendition of Kings of Leon’s "Knocked up."

A big surprise came at the end of the night when Lykke told us, “you get a gift for being so good” as a familiar hip hop beat began to hype up the crowd. She busted out rhymes for a cover of Lil Wayne’s “A Milli." With all her R&B swagger I could have sworn this chick was from New York (later I discovered she had lived in Bushwhick, Brooklyn for a bit). She just kept banging away on those drums, keeping the crowd going as she moved into her last song “Breaking It Up."

Her encore consisted of an acoustic version of the Shirelles “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” and her beautiful and haunting song “Tonight."

I've included some photos in addition to the video. Enjoy. 


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