The Lollapalooza Aftershow at Concord Music Hall on Thursday began with a soulful rendition of the Pokémon theme song. The entire crowd of people stopped and turned, and immediately began to sing along. For the R&B singer Xavier Omär, this was the beginning of an opening set that was perhaps (dare I say it) better than the headliners. For a man with only a DJ behind him, he had the entire crowd dancing and arm-waving along with a fervor. His smooth voice and sensitive lyrics, coupled with catchy beats and the occasional Space Jam dance party, made for a wonderful half hour set. Somehow it got even better, when he ended the set by covering Purple Rain, with the entire audience singing along.
Little Dragon is a band that I’ve loved for a long time. Their unique melding of soul, R&B, and electronic music has always been fascinating to me, and Yukimi Nagano’s wavering voice is deep and entrancing. Their entrance to the stage was nothing short of melodramatic, with Nagano’s head wrapped in a glowing orange scarf. All members of the band had something that would glow in the blacklight as part of their outfits. A single synth note droned on as they walked out into a colorful haze, standing in a line at the front of the stage with their palms facing outwards. Eventually, they moved into place, and all began to play a rhythm on a piece of auxiliary percussion. They began playing with a pounding bass that was quite literally skull-vibrating, and their show was underfoot.
There’s no question that the group is phenomenally talented, and they put on an amazing show. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right headspace at midnight on a Thursday, but the show was honestly a tad disappointing for me. Most of what they played had more of a house/club vibe than what I was expecting. Past favorites of mine include most songs from their 2014 album, Nabuma Rubberband, and though their recent album, Season High, includes many songs that are stylistically similar, they must have wanted to present a more bombastic, dance-based live show. What I will say about the show is that it included a beautiful light show. The stage was constantly shrouded in brightly colored pastels, smoke, and blacklights. It made for an extremely pleasant visual experience. Little Dragon put on a great show – it’s not them, it’s me.
Catch them on tour this fall.