Concert review: Little Dragon at Crowbar (with pics!)

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The next song, "Test" really highlighted Little Dragon's R&B influences. Their entire live set had much stronger jazz overtones than I anticipated, with strong basslines and [image-1]Nagano's voice always dominating their sound. They played crowd favorites, "Never, Never" and "Feather," adding an extended dreamy ending to the latter that got the crowd swaying and moving for the first time of the evening.

Towards the end of the last song, Nagano jumped offstage and went directly to the bar, leaving her bandmates with undivided audience attention for the first time of the evening as they ended the show in a cloud of atmospheric fuzz.

To be totally honest, I was less than impressed with the show. I enjoy listening to Little Dragon on disc, but somehow their live performance came off as repetitive and predictable. Nagano carried the show well with her huge voice and presence, but even that began to lose its charm at a certain point. I'm still glad I added Machine Dreams to my library, but it was certainly not the night of dancing I anticipated.

To check out more of Darryl's photos from the Thursday night show, click here.

The night after St. Patrick's Day seemed like the perfect opportunity to get out for a night of dancing. With significant amounts of Jameson's still coursing through my bloodstream, I headed to Crowbar to catch the Swedish electronica of Little Dragon. [All photos by D. Rich Photography.]

The opening act, Joint Custody, started the evening with totally danceable techno full of bass and ambient noise; unfortunately, at that point, the bar was nearly empty and no one was dancing. Maybe the recession is making people cut back on controlled substances, or perhaps it was just too early; mostly, I think Joint Custody would just be better suited to playing at Hyde Park Cafe or The Kennedy. Since straight up techno is usually not my thing, I went outside to wait it out in the courtyard.

By the time Little Dragon came on, Crowbar had filled up nicely. The crowd began cheering when the clicking first notes of "A New" began, and went positively insane when singer Yukimi Nagano [pictured above] hit the stage.

From the first instant, you see that Little Dragon is carried on the shoulders of this tiny girl with a huge presence and even larger voice. Throughout the entire evening, Nagano danced more than the crowd did, building upon our energy with her weaving and hopping. Little Dragon is an oddly appropriate description, and in fact the band received their name from the tantrums she would throw in the studio while they were recording.

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