Loney Dear at the Troubadour, West Hollywood, CA, October 1st, 2009 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Loney Dear at the Troubadour, West Hollywood, CA, October 1st, 2009, October 1st, 2009

Oct 10, 2009 Web Exclusive
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Tie-wearing, cow-lick sporting musician Loney Dear (Emil Svanängen to his friends) is the kind of performer you can’t help but want to succeed. Taking the stage after Asobi Seksu’s high-spirited sonic assault that left the audience bouncing, one couldn’t help but wonder if the sweet-spirited Swede—who repeatedly and sincerely addressed the audience as “my friends”—was up for the task. Flaunting his crystalline voice and liberal use of crescendos in a set that could melt even a cynic’s heart, Svanängen proved that he was.

Backed by a four piece band and a few well-executed samples, Svanängen and co preformed pitch-perfect recreations of material spanning Loney Dear’s five album catalog. With a sweetness that makes his music’s thematic darkness both somewhat hard to believe and somehow crueler (bad things don’t happen to people with crystalline voices…do they?); the Troubadour stage was transformed into the world’s most melodic confessional. Momentarily during “Hard Day’s” and “Under a Silent Sea” it appeared Svanängen might have been exorcizing a few actual demons.

In spite of being a show predicated on an “ah shucks” mentality that had Svanängen drawing comparisons between now and the last time they played the Troubadour (“We improved like humans are supposed to do.”), it was difficult not to be carried away with his performance. Normally, I’m not a fan of sing-alongs (I prefer to save my voice for the shower, thanks), but when he asked the audience to pitch in during “Meter Marks Okay” I was more than ready to buy what he was selling. Chalk it up to—as Svanängen would later proudly announce—his hailing from the same county as “the guy who invented Ikea.”

Despite Svanängen’s non-threatening charm, the first “I love you!” of the evening was directed not to him, but to his drummer after “Carrying a Stone.” Blushing, Svanängen admitted that he did have a great drummer, before a second, equally enthusiastic declaration of love was directed at him. “Are you one of my gay friends?” he asked, addressing a clutch of people perched in The Troubadour’s VIP section. For the rest of us he provided a somewhat obtuse explanation. “I met them and I wished I was both a gay and a lesbian at the same time. I didn’t know how to handle it!”

After an all too brief set (which seems to be a theme at the Troubadour), Loney Dear exited the stage. Of course, had you been present and blinked at the wrong time, you might have missed this—as the band returned only seconds later. “Do you mind if I play ‘Airport Surroundings?’ Svanängen asked the crowd, laughing when all he got in return was a series of unintelligible screams. “I don’t know if that was a no or a yes. I shouldn’t have asked that!”

The encore also unexpectedly included “Shivering Green”—an oft-neglected song off the early Loney Dear album Citadel Band. Here, Svanängen provided an intriguing bit of background information, announcing, “We going to play a song that we played in a lighthouse in Holland.” He continued, amused, “That sounds more druggy than it is.”

The night ended with just Svanängen on stage, performing Dear John’s melancholic title track. “Thanks for the wonderful night!” he said before leaving the stage one last time. Thank me? My heart was melted, my inner cynic tamed. Thank you.

Set list:

1. I Was Only Going Out

2. Everything Turns to You

3. Summers

4. Under a Silent Sea

5. The Meter Marks Okay

6. Carrying a Stone

7. Take it Back

8. I Fought the Battle of Trinidat & Tobago

9. Hard Day’s


10. Airport Surroundings

11. Shivering Green

12. Sinister in a State of Hope

13. Dear John



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October 10th 2009

Great reviews. Loney Dear has been my favorite band because their music touched my soul and makes me feel good. Live they are incredible. I saw them in Fortaleza, Brazil, and I’ll remember that day for a long time.

March 1st 2010

very successful thanks