Jens Lekman at the Henry Fonda Theatre, Hollywood, CA | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Jens Lekman

Taken By Trees, Jens Lekman

Jens Lekman at the Henry Fonda Theatre, Hollywood, CA, November 6th, 2012

Nov 07, 2012 Taken By Trees Photography by Laura Studarus Bookmark and Share

The trick to reviewing a Jens Lekman performance isn’t properly recapping the experience, but not sounding like a blithering fan girl while doing it.

I suspect I’m not alone in wrestling with the cartoonishly exaggerated emotions that seeing Lekman live can produce. (Pause for hyperventilation and wild gesticulation.) Over the course of three albums (including this year’s I Know What Love Isn’t) the Swedish troubadour has made a career out of compiling the smallest details of love, such as a smeared camera lens, a poorly chosen turn of phrase, and two years of reoccurring dreams. As a result of his carefully harvested, oft-idealized observations, the listener is left haunted with the idea that not only does she know Lekman personally, but he has somehow tapped into her exact flavor of heartache while still managing to offer up a good time.

(Pause for shouted marriage proposal.) How does the old saying go? Men want to be him; women want to be with him? Yup, sounds ‘bout right.

Lekman’s show at the Henry Fonda Theatre on Tuesday night lived up to the high standard he’s continued to set for himself over years of touring. Alongside a four-piece band (including a keys/cowbell player), Lekman performed an 18-song set, including long-standing fan favorites “Black Cab,” “Maple Leaves,” and “Sipping on the Sweet Nectar” (complete with airplane-like dance moves).

It was clear that the majority of the audience was well-versed in the world of Lekman. With zero prompting, he was able to count on attendees to fill out the “oh no!” shouted chorus of “Sweet Summer’s Night on Hammer’s Hill,” and perform Calvin Johnson’s low vocal part on the largely a cappella song, “Heart on Fire.” There were also a fair number of preemptive chuckles before Lekman launched into the fairly ridiculous backstories of “A Postcard to Nina,” and “Waiting For Kirsten.” But with a Lekman performance, it’s never about the surprise of the punch line, but rather the charmingly crooked path he takes to get there.

(Pause to maintain a doe-eyed, adoring gaze.)

Opening the show was Taken By Trees, the project of ex-Concrete turned solo artist Victoria Bergsman. The band offered up a mysterious set, featuring songs from recently released tropical trip Other Worlds, complimented by Hawaii-themed projections. While not offering up the same level of energy as Lekman, her Bergsman’s graceful performance was mesmerizing, and well worth arriving early to see.


1. Every Little Hair (instrumental)

2. Higher Power

3. I Know What Love Isn’t

4. Golden Key

5. The Opposite of Hallelujah

6. Waiting For Kirsten

7. Black Cab

8. Arms Around Me

9. Cowboy Boots

10. World Moves On

11. Maple Leaves

12. Into Eternity

13. Sipping on the Sweet Nectar


14. Sweet Summer’s Night on Hammer Hill

15. Lotta Love (Neil Young cover featuring Taken By Trees)

16. Postcard to Nina


17. Pocket Full of Money

18. Every Little Hair Knows Your Name

Check out a full gallery of photos here.




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