At the beginning of her set last night, Lykke Li commented, “This might be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” which was probably in part because of the venue’s beauty. The Ace Hotel chain recently restored the United Artists Theatre, a glorious 1920s movie theater and music hall next to the new Ace Hotel Downtown L.A., and have dubbed the new venue simply The Theatre at Ace Hotel. With its Spanish Gothic inspired ornamentation and 35′ ceiling, it is one of the most stunning venues to see a musician or movie. That being said, it is a seated venue which throughout Lykke Li’s show caused a distance between the artist and the crowd.
It took until 15 minutes into her set when Li sang Little Bit to even get the audience standing and singing along. Although half the crowd sat down after the song, she kept them engaged by asking who in the crowd was feeling heartbroken. And although there was some small painful clapping, one guy jumped up and screamed “YEAH!” pumping both of his fists in the air, making Lykke Li laugh about how only one person in the crowd was heartbroken, thus causing two more people to jump up and declare their painful single status. She then dedicated, Never Gonna Love Again to those that were lovesick.
“I know all you wanna do is dance,” she said, making people scream in anticipation for “Dance, Dance, Dance.” Alas she finished the sentence disapointing people by saying, “But I wrote a really sad album that I have to sing, so sit down.” Everyone then settled in for some beautifully somber tracks off I Never Learn. She did get people up and moving again with I Follow Rivers, and kept the energy coming with a highly percussive and dramatically lit Rich Kids Blues. Letting the smoke silhouette her as she sang, “The smoke is my baby.” Declaring that she had to play a song that reminded her of Los Angeles, she went into a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Silver Springs. Then Li announced, “I’ll give you something to dance to!” before playing Get Some.
For her encore, she coyly said she wanted to sing to the crowd in Swedish, before playing her recent single, Du ar Den Ende, as she’s been playing for many encores this tour. After the fitting Sadness Is A Blessing, Lykke Li and her band bowed and exited to the Beatles’ Don’t Let Me Down.
Photos by Annie Lesser.