What happens when you put one of Europe’s biggest bands in the middle of downtown New Orleans and charge $25 a ticket? You pack the house with an eclectic mix of people.
Nearly every conceivable group of people living in the city was represented to see Little Dragon at the Republic last night. Little Dragon, who are from Sweden, are touring for their new album, “Nabuma Rubberband.” The band is led by singer Yukimi Nagano, which is where the name “Little Dragon” comes from, due to her propensity early on in their career of blowing up in the studio. She is surrounded by high school friends of hers, with Erik Bodin on drums, Hakan Wirenstrand on keryboard, and Fredrik Wallin on bass. “Nabuma Rubberband” debuted on the UK Albums Chart at 14, which is the highest ranking for any album of theirs to-date. And the band didn’t disappoint.
Playing a lot of songs off of “Nabuma Rubberband,” the crowd swayed and moved with Nagano. She’d go from banging on her tambourine, to letting it hang from her arm as she’d grab the mic and croon. She’d move from side to side and raise her hand up, with the crowd mimicking her, as if in a trance. At times with bright lighting behind her, she would have a giant shadow, her silhouette dancing all over the people on the second floor.
The band sprinkled in some old favorites of theirs, such as “Ritual Union,” that had the whole crowd singing and dancing. At one point, someone stood on a pillar and danced to the beat, swaying up and down and giving the whole scene a vibe out of a movie. During the encore, the group played old favorite “Runabout,” which had the whole crowd going from frantically dancing to singing along. The band flexed their muscles with their last song, as they jammed through the track “Twice.” Keyboardist Hakan Wirenstrand jumped back towards the drummer, grabbing an extra set of sticks and started playing alongside him, giving it a tribal feel and picking up the beat for those of us who wanted to break one last sweat. Little Dragon gave a show to start off the summer, packing the Republic on a Tuesday as if there was a Saturday night special.