Little Dragon at Fitzgerald's, 6/8/2014
Fans packed Fitzgerald's Sunday night as the sweltering venue hosted Little Dragon, supporting their fourth studio album, Nabuma Rubberband. The Swedish electro-pop group has been playing together for many years, which was easy to see in their cohesion and fluidity. Throughout the night, the tempo fluctuated from danceable grooves to slow and dreamy melodies, while singer Yukimi Nagano's soulful voice kept everyone entranced.
At 10 p.m. sharp, drummer Erick Bodin and red-bearded keyboardist Håkan Wirenstrand emerged from the shadows to applause and began playing an instrumental, joined shortly thereafter by Arild Werling. Dressed in a blue slate miniskirt and matching top, Nagano walked out to complete the foursome, picked up a tambourine shaped like a tennis racquet and wasted no time plunging into Little Dragon's 90-minute set.
The band started up with "Mirrors," also the opener to Nabuma Rubberband. The slower, melodramatic tune served to hype up the crowd, not necessarily because of the song itself, but moreso because the crowd's anticipation to see Little Dragon was over. Given the stark differences in styles between the songs, the seamless transition between "Summer Tears" and "Shuffle a Dream" was incredible, but indicative of a band that has been playing together for such a long time.
The crowd was whipped into a dancing frenzy upon hearing the first few notes of "Klapp Klapp." During the chorus, Nagano extended the microphone towards the crowd, allowing them to sing for her. At times it felt like the floor was going to collapse from the bodies moving up and down in unison.
Amazingly, the only other time the band has played Houston was opening for Gorillaz at Toyota Center in 2010. Toward the end of the set Nagano gleefully said, "Houston, this is special. We've only played here as support. We will always remember our first time here."
As the final song neared its end, Nagano retreated off the stage while her band continued playing. Just before Bodin walked away, he blew a long sweeping kiss to the fans applauding the band they had waited so long to see perform.
About the Opener: Lawrence Rothman essentially played their set in the dark. The only light appeared to come from the projector illuminating a screen with various patterns behind the group.
The Crowd: Very diverse. Ladies were in a mix of flowing printed dresses and blouses; men were mostly in shorts, jeans and black-rimmed glasses.
Overheard In the Crowd: "If they have wine, will you put ice in it for me?"
Most Interesting Outfit: A young lady at the front of the stage wore a fuzzy raspberry beret; however, this was not the most interesting piece of her outfit. She was only wearing the beret and jeans -- she was topless other than the glittered body paint slathered on her chest. At least she didn't have to wash a sweat-soaked shirt.
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