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Monday, March 22, 2010

Live review: Little Dragon, VV Brown

Posted By on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Little Dragon w/ VV Brown

The Milestone

March 21, 2010


The Deal: Sweden's Little Dragon brings along England's VV Brown for a late night of energetic music.


The Good: The night got started with a 35-minute set by Capitol Records artist VV Brown. She played a number of songs from her debut, Travelling Like the Light, and a couple of covers including Drake's "Best I Ever Had." Her set included the anthemic "Game Over" and the '50s style of "Leave!" She's being compared to Amy Winehouse, but Winehouse seems like a one-trick pony compared to the diversity in the style of Brown's set.


Her set ended with her first single, "Swimming with Sharks." She spent a good bit of her set hammering away on a single floor drum. Her backing band — drums, guitar and bass — gave plenty of volume to the sound, but a backing track was still used to help to fill things out. She appeared to enjoy every moment on stage and stuck around in the crowd for the entire Little Dragon set later in the night.


Little Dragon's infectious grooves in their brand of electronic music got the crowd dancing and singing along in no time. Singer Yukimi Nagano uses her voice almost like an instrument throughout the songs — repeating phrases and sounds to create more of a beat or cooing up some oohs and aahs to transform the mood.


She doesn't hesitate to shake her own tailfeathers, either. She could often be seen hitting a wooden block, shaking a tambourine or hammering away on the cymbals behind her. It was the band's second appearance at The Milestone and I imagine, after the reactions and love they got last night, it won't be their last time in town.


The band mostly used keyboards, bass and drums to create their music, but sometimes incorporated more electronic elements when needed. To me, after a while, a lot of their songs started to sound the same, but it was more about an emotion and overall vibe that was being created in the venue than songs as a matter of storytelling. The band got the crowd hyped and you could tell they were in a frenzy by the time the last notes rung out and Nagano appeared to be just as tired from all of her own dancing.

The Bad: The show was listed online as starting at 9 p.m, but opener VV Brown didn't hit the stage until around 10:35. Not fun for a packed house to just stand around, though much love given to DJ George Brazil who kept the variety going in the songs he was spinning. Then, after Brown left the stage around 11:10, it took another 40 minutes for Little Dragon to start their set. Just too much waiting around for a Sunday night.

The enjoyment of non-smoking venues has been fantastic recently, so I noticed a handful of people who weren't too happy to find out that The Milestone is considered a private club that isn't affected by that new law. It was nice at first, but as soon as the first cigarette could be smelled, it was open season...


The Verdict: VV Brown is definitely one to watch — it's easy to imagine her on a bigger stage with backup singers and a larger band playing to massive crowds. As for Little Dragon, they sure do make people move. It was like being in a dance club with a live band instead of a DJ controlling people's moods and actions. Granted, it's not my thing, but they do what they do well.

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