Little Dragon Played a Tantrum-Free Set at the Showbox Last Night
by Todd Hamm
on Fri, Aug 29, 2014 at 3:59 PM
While listening to Sweden's Little Dragon play an in-studio performance on KEXP yesterday, I learned that their name was a reference to the tantrums that lead singer Yukimi Nagano used to throw in the studio. She is a spark plug—or was; Nagano's part of the band's sold-out show at the Showbox last night was marked by some mild #stunting, but was a little on the chill side considering the nature of their moniker. The set was virtually dragon-free.
LD isn't a solo project (it's a quartet rounded out by keyboardists Fredrik Wallin and Håkan Wirenstrand, and drummer Erik Bodin), but the group played up Nagano's entrance with a couple minutes of introductory instrumental before she strutted on stage in a shiny silver dress with matching jacket. Someone in the audience yelled "We love you!" to Nagano at this point. People cheered every time she danced, or picked up the tambourine, or paused between verses. If she and the rest of the band would have taken the opportunity to let loose a bit more, they really could have pushed the night into party mode, but they kept things moving well enough, and made an otherwise enjoyable show of their blissful brand of low-key dance.
Things finally picked up about two-thirds of the way through the set when they came to an unexpected crescendo at the end of "Ritual Union," and rode that energy well through to the end of their regularly scheduled program. Then, after coming back out for an encore, they finished up with a song that sounded like it sampled "Le Gibet" from Maurice Ravel's Gaspard De La Nuit, which was fine by me.