Lykke Li Plays the Apollo for 1500 of Her Closest Friends

Words by Erik Izquierdo | Photos by Eddie Pearson

Following the release of her new album, I Never Learn, Lykke Li dropped by the Apollo Theater for an intimate performance with 1500 of her closest friends. As one of only two non-festival performances set on her tour, this rare show caught the singer off guard as she remarked that it had been awhile since she had a seated audience.

Kicking off the show as she did the new album, “I Never Learn”’s raw acoustic riff broke the silence as Lykke’s grungy Western-European band took to the stage. Transitioning into “Love out of Lust,” Lykke made sure to keep fans who have yet to hear the new album engaged before she played her new single, “No Rest for the Wicked.”

“Sorry my new album is such a bummer,” Lykke muttered into the microphone after finishing her new single before asking for the heartbroken attendees to raise their hands for her next song, “Never Gonna Love Again.”

She then kicked things into high gear, throwing her biggest hit, “Little Bit” over at the crowd. She then played “Youth Knows No Pain” where she also threw in a few Gessaffelstein-esque synths and drum pads to make a bit of a dance remix. The entire audience was on their feet, greeting the change of pace as she followed it up with “Gunshot” and “I Follow Rivers,” wrapping up the show. The crowd roared as she returned for an encore, where Lykke performed a special Swedish song and ended the night with “Sadness is a Blessing.”

As a huge Lykke Li fan myself, the concert was the perfect balance of her new and old material. As a lot of her new material is slow and depressing, Lykke Li also did a great job mixing it up with upbeat hits from the past and new takes on old songs. Overall, her performance was a nice break for a club kid like me, and hope to see her touring the US again soon.