Gig Review: Jens Lekman at Whelan’s
Pros:Lekman seriously appreciates his fans, and it shows in his performance.
Cons:Lekman confessed that he was suffering from a bit of a dose and would have played a longer encore if he hadn't been under the weather.
Despite feeling under the weather, Swedish songsmith Jens Lekman dazzled his audience at Whelan’s with endearing stories and songs.
Jens Lekman is a storyteller first, and a musician second. His music is the vehicle he uses to tell stories that are at turns meaningful, bittersweet, funny, but always witty and thoughtful. Stories like the time his lesbian friend Nina had him pose as her fiancé, or the time he considered marrying another friend to gain Australian citizenship. A major audience favourite was his tale of ‘Waiting for Kirsten’ (Dunst) at a nightclub in his hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden.
At €20 a ticket, no-one could deny the value for money. Over the course of his 2 hour set, Lekman bared his soul to his fans, performing new album I Know What Love Isn’t in its entirety. The album is a tale of heartbreak in its many forms, but despite the sadness that inspired the songs, it proved impossible to leave the gig with anything but a light heart. The irresistibly upbeat melodies and witty humour that runs through all of Lekman’s songs had his audience laughing and dancing until it was time to go home.
After playing an encore of a slowed-down ‘Black Cab’, Lekman came back on stage to thank the audience and explain that he had been suffering from a fever this morning, but felt we had gone some way towards curing him. He told us he would go and lie down for a few minutes, then come out to meet us for a chat, and that’s exactly what he did. Lekman is someone who really thinks of his fans as friends, which is what gives all his performances such an intimate, personal feeling.
As he insisted Dublin is one of his favourite cities to perform in, we can hopefully expect to see him back again soon, with more stories to tell.
Jens Lekman’s new album, I Know What Love Isn’t, is out now.