Little Dragon breathed the fire of life into the packed crowd at Stubb’s Amphitheater. The entire show was a ritual, as if a spell had been cast over the packed audience by Yukimi Nagano – Little Dragon’s foxy Swedish frontwoman. Yukimi danced with a gourd shaped tambourine in hand and chanted out notes of pure beauty, her shadow gigantic and looming against the wall. Little Dragon, for the uninitiated, is an international powerhouse of electronic music – featured far and wide on Gorillaz tracks, SBTRKT jams, and a slew of other collaboratives efforts. Their worldwide fanbase is enormous and turns out in droves for Little Dragon’s atmospheric, synthesized aesthetic and Yukimi’s voluptuous performance.
They have the feel of a band of mad scientists, cooking up the best beats in their laboratory. Their synths are layered like ancient ruins and Yukimi is the hidden treasure in their depths. Japanese and Swedish, she blends eastern and western dance and style in a way that can only be possible when it’s in your blood. At times rocking a pimp coat and at others a traditional Japanese headdress, she entrances the audience with one of a kind showmanship. The lights in Stubb’s Amphitheatre swirled and flashed, threatening to send everyone into a fit of epilepsy. The synthesizers rumbled like some great beast moving beneath the earth. As the band broke into their smash hit Ritual Union, and the bass filled the amphitheatre and shook in our souls, Yukimi became possessed by the music. Dancing with a religious fervour, sheer fabric shrouding her black headdress, she was both a slave to the music and it’s master.
Willing fans were treated to an extended encore. At the climax drummer Erik Bodin pounded out the best percussion Sweden has even brought to America, a minute plus solo session that threatened to tear the theatre apart.
All photos by Paula Horstman for Compose Yourself Magazine