Taking to the stage in a characteristically elaborate neon netting, lead singer Yukimi Nagano emerges from the blue mist. Within minutes of spotting a man dressed as Super Mario and a vampire in the crowd, it was sure that nothing about Little Dragon show at London’s Roundhouse, on October 28, would be anything short of a visual spectacle.
Opening with ‘A New’, from the 2009 record Machine Dreams, Nagano’s sweet and mystical vocals battled against the synths and bass which set the scene for the rest of the captivating set.
The Swedish electro-pop four-piece played tracks from their latest album Season High as well as classics from their back catalogue. Introducing ‘Constant Surprises’ as one of the first tracks they performed in front of a crowd in the UK, the crowd respond with applause, hanging on to every word in an electric atmosphere of mutual love between the artist and the fans.
‘Blinking Pigs’ – a song about nightmares and vivid dreams from Machine Dreams – allowed Nagano to channel her musical performance with theatrical expression through frolicking on stage with her billowing neon costume. The theatrics of the set never distracted the audience from the soft yet-effortless vocals, and their signature electronic 80s pop sound.
After ‘Blinking Pigs’, and a quick costume change for Nagano, the track ‘Strobe Light’ from their new album filled the vast Roundhouse with 80s synths and a throbbing, sinister beat. A return to the classics including ‘Ritual Union’, ‘Crystalfilm’ and ‘Twice’, saw the band immerse themselves with the audience. Little Dragon’s drummer, Erik Bodin charismatically stood before his solo segment in ‘Klapp Klapp’, receiving a roar of applause from the crowd.
Introducing ‘Feather’ from Machine Dreams as a “feminist ballad”, Nagano delicately sang, telling a tale of female strength and ability; ‘You are airborne/ You got silver rays’. The ode to feminine mysticism and strength remains fragile in lyrics, even when accompanied by the synths in a live setting.
Flittering between up-tempo and slow, melodic tracks, Little Dragon delivered a truly dynamic and mystical performance.