Show Review: Jens Lekman @ Mohawk (11/13)

We began our night of covering the Austin music scene over at Mohawk on Tuesday night, greatly anticipating the return of Jens Lekman to Austin.  Openers did their job, if only to warm us up for our favorite Swede.

Read on for more words and photos.

Big Search opened up the evening, though we were only able to catch the last four songs due to early door opening.  The band is the project of Matt  Popieluch, who also works in Foreign Born, though he’s been writing on his own since 99′.  Musically, it’s casual pop, similar to that of his other project, though a slight bit more elegant.  Toes were tapping and his voice was extremely vital to the band’s sound, winning over the early attendees.

When Victoria Bergsman took to the stage as Taken By Trees, backed by some members of Big Search, I couldn’t wait to hear her voice.  That voice was every bit as dreamy as I expected it to be, almost with hints of Scottish to its tone.  Her songs like “Lost and Found” definitely warmed my heart, having loved that song, not to mention the noticeable reggae and tropicalia touches that were much more present on tracks from here newest album, Other Worlds. I will say that my one disappoint ws in Victoria’s live performance.  I know her music isn’t particularly moving, at least physically, but she seemed to hide behind the shadow of her microphone, though she did so humbly.  I’m not sure what I would have liked to see in that regard, but there was a slight bit of a disconnect between Bergsman and her audience.

That, however, was not to be for Jens Lekman.  He courageously opted to play the entirety of his recent work, I Know What Love Isn’t, then jumping into the hits.  For me, I love Jens live; it’s something everyone needs to witness in order to truly understand his work.  He’s charming in every sense of the word, often taking time to converse with the audience and dictate the stories of his songwriting.  At first the crowd seemed on edge, waiting in anticipation for their favorite tracks, but you can’t deny the passion of a man at his best. For me, I think the fact that his backing band smiled throughout demonstrates how much they believe in Jens, just as we all did.

When he began to sneak in the hits, you could tell that Lekman had won, throwing out tracks like “The Opposite of Hallelujah” and the more recent “Waiting for Kirsten.”  We all sung along, reveling in our most anticipated part of the evening: the hits section.  Having watched the show, it’s hard to see anyone disliking Jens Lekman.  You can dislike his music, but in his presence, it’s not possible to not be enamored with his performance.  Hope you were all there last night, and if not, I’m bummed you missed it.

There are a few more pics at the photo site

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