TVD Live: Little Dragon at the Fox Theater, 8/22

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-8-2

Gothenburg-based underground superstars Little Dragon might be the most difficult band to describe in words. I just read three different reviews of their brilliant new record on three elite hipster blogs, and after referencing the urban dictionary several times, none of them made any sense. It drives me crazy when a critic reviews a record and tries so damn hard that they end up confusing the hell out of the reader who just wants to know whether or not they should check out the band.

So, before I turn into the very critic that I am critiquing above, let me tell you how great Little Dragon is live. They deliver the entire package here folks—it’s not just a show but more of an experience. The music falls somewhere between Massive Attack, Portishead, and Motown’s Greatest Hits, while the performance is sort of like Pink Floyd hosting a rave in outer space with a charismatic MC leading the charge in the form of sultry, Swedish-Japanese vocalist Yukimi Nagano.

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-6

Nagano recently told Rolling Stone that during the recording process, she wandered around the band’s longtime hometown of Gothenberg in winter while listening to Janet Jackson. If that’s what it takes to make an epic record of this magnitude, then I would suggest that Ms. Jackson should make a comeback any day now. Maybe Thom Yorke and Chris Martin should take note as they could really use a unique angle on their new records.

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-4-2

The single “Klapp Klapp” is f**king brilliant. It reminds me of a jazz standard crashing into a heavy Nine Inch Nails riff that breaks down into a soulful chorus that would make Sade envious. Another standout song from both the album and the live show is “Pretty Girls.” This one’s a low-fi, funky number that sounds like something AM and Shawn Lee should have been a part of, or maybe a remix, hint hint.

The rest of the incredible set spawned from the band’s four studio records, a nice mix of “hits,” odds and ends, and rounded out by a stellar encore. This is cool stuff folks, and quite a breath of fresh air across a musical landscape that has been less than impressive throughout the Summer.

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-7

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-7-2

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-8

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-9

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-10

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-6-2

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-5-2

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-5

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-4-2

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-4

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-3-2

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-3

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-2-2

Little Dragon Live at the Fox Theater Oakland-2

Little Dragon is on tour now and if you missed this Bay Area performance, they will be back in October for what is sure to be another amazing show at the gorgeous Fox Theater.

Check out larger photos in the gallery.

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