Photos By: Summer Luu
By: Rachel Frank
Goddess is defined as “a female being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by people”. Yukimi Nagono’s, aka Little Dragon, performance on Monday night at the Observatory in North Park was nothing short of a Goddess. This Swedish electo group has worked on tracks with the likes of Gorillaz, TV on the Radio, SBTRKT and Big Boi to create musical magic.
The quartet walked onstage one by one. Energetic drummer, Erik Bodin, jumped up first, followed shortly behind Fredrik Wallin (bass). No one could miss the keyboardist, Håkan Wirenstrand, sporting his orange and black striped Tigger jumpsuit. Nagono strutted on stage, her airy gestures boasting a confidence that most veterans hold. Oh yeah, did you know that Little Dragon has been around for 15 years? Formed in 1997, the band grew immensely popular in recent years after hits from Ritual Union (2009) and Machine Dreams (2009).
Their setup was dead center in front of an incredible backdrop of a dualtone woman’s mouth opening. Diamond-shaped light structures speckled the stage, creating a visually dynamic scene. Nagono’s soulful voice paired with heavy synth elements creates an innovative new sound that appeals to the human soul. Little Dragon has mastered the dance genre — if you listen carefully, you can hear sounds of night club tones, complex beats, and bouncy synths. Little Dragon takes you on a rollercoaster of melodies, never knowing where you’ll be in the next 5 seconds. Their 2014 album Rubberband Nabuma pairs their synth fusion with Nagono’s soulful voice and varied percussion to create a darker sound than their previous albums, said to be inspired by the cold Swedish winter. That must be the reason why in the midst of their set, Nagono shared with the crowd that she’s always wanted to come visit San Diego…it’s a complete 180 of Sweden’s temperatures.
With influences from Prince to Janet Jackson, their live show mesmerized the crowd in a trance. You could feel Nagono’s energy shoot out of her body as she danced around the stage rocking a lavish rainbow feather outfit belting out her soul to us. Nearing the end of their set, Nagono jumped onto the drum set alongside Bodin, effortlessly creating new sounds for us to fall in love with.
Thank you Little Dragon for coming to San Diego and bringing your infectious beautiful energy and music to us.