Posted by: Cory | October 25, 2007

Jens Lekman (REVIEW, PICTURES & VIDEO!) @ Jakes – Bloomington, IN – Oct. 23

I had the opportunity of seeing Jens’ 4th and 5th show of the day on Tuesday. Jens played an under 21 show at the John Waldron Arts Center because Jakes was 21+, but that sold out, so he played another show for the people under 21 who missed out on the under 21 show because it’d sold out, then he played a radio show, then he played Jake’s, and lastly he played a set at the after party. He said it was a record for him, which I can only imagine it would be. Exhausted, they later just put records on.

The Setlist was comprehensive and wonderfully amazing:

Black Cab
Into Eternity
Opposite of Hallelujah (cut a little short by mistakes)
Opposite of Hallelujah (from the strings, to right the wrongs of a new tour with the kinks not yet worked out)
Postcard to Nina
I Saw Her at the Anti-War Demonstration
Your Arms Around Me
Kanske Är Jag Kär I Dig (made his own backup using loops, reminded me of Feist)
You Are the Light
A Sweet Summer Night on Hammer Hill
Friday Night at the Drive-in Bingo

Encore 1:

Sipping on the Sweet Nectar
Maples Leaves

Encore 2:

(Addresses the Audience to tell us he’s going to hang out afterwards)
Pockets Full of Money*

Afterparty at Space 101:

“So Busy Loving You” (I didn’t know the title to this song)
Happy Birthday, Dear Friend Lisa

Opposite of Hallelujah“, Jens explained as being a song for and sort of about his sister. Something that makes me happy at shows is when the artist messes up. Strange, I know, but it makes it real. I like to know that these musicians are real people, and few people are as real as Jens. Not that he messed up a lot, just that he is. I bring this up because this track got messed up on the digital track the DJ was playing, because it kept coming in too early. It worked out well though because they essentially played the song twice, because he asked us if we minded him starting over from the strings.

Jens explained “Postcard to Nina” as truly being about a good friend of his named Nina living in Berlin. Jens was visiting, and he & Nina were preparing dinner when they went to the bottom of the stairs to get everyone, she told me that she had told the family that they were engaged. It threw Jens off a bit, but he powered on. Later, during dinner, after Nina’s father had taken a couple of drinks to get comfortable he told Jens that when he’d heard of the engagement, he’d rushed off to buy one of his records, and that to him Jens sounded beautiful…like Elvis.

On “Your Arms Around Me” Jens explained that it’d related to once speaking of cutting his hand off for love.

The only songs I truly love & didn’t get to hear were “Do You Remember The Riots?” and “Cold Swedish Winter“, so maybe he’ll play them if and when he eventually comes to KY. He told me he was actually interested in coming that way because he’d been hearing good things.

Jens was really friendly, and at one point exclaimed he felt as though he knew half of the audience. Later, I asked him his connection to bloomington and he said that his label, Secretly Canadian was based out of bloomington. Jens was the type of person that you honestly felt he cared about any/everything you had to say. I think the fact he played 5 shows really reflects that. Also, the way Jens spoke throughout the set gave me the impression he really enjoyed being there. I find only artists who are enjoying themselves will communicate with the crowd, and in Louisville that seems to rarely happen for whatever reason.

Another star of the show was Teresa (pronounced Titious), the bassist. She was quite possibly the cutest thing ever, and is completely unaware of it. Her stage presence was beautiful. I spoke with her after the show (while eating an amazing cookie), and she explained that the mountains on her costume represented the area of northern sweden where she grew up before moving to Gothenburg, where she met Jens and the others and started playing together. She explained further that the costumes were something of a brainchild of hers. She encouraged her friend to create a design one evening, and the next day she received the concept sketches. At first the band was reluctant, but she was persistent and in the end the band made the right decision by agreeing to wear them. Everyone I spoke with in the audience adored them. That whole story grew out of my asking her where in Sweden I ought to visit, to which she said Gothenburg or Stockholm, but if I was there in the winter when its terribly cold anyway, to head way north (thanks for the tip!).

The rest of the cast & crew included a DJ (the only other guy), and women on drums, flutes, accordians, trombone, sax, synth, cowbell and most every other imaginable instruemnt.

As for reviewing the show itself, Jens played beautifully. I was a little worried because I’ve been to shows in the past of very poppy bands who come off sounding more like a true rock band live. I knew from the moment the DJ walked out with his costume on that the show was going to be amazing. Jens’ charm on stage and generally pleasantness rubs off and gave the room a kind of vibrance. Considering the setting in which he started off his american tour (a bar where more than a few were there without knowing who he was, something you can do when tickets are only $10), it was nice to see the way in which his mood dominated us, took us over through his music, and turned us into objects of his own. Not since Belle & Sebastian have I seen a show as wonderfully poppy as this….

I gave Jens a sticker promoting my blog, so if you stop by Jens, please leave a comment.

And to think I had to draw a diagram out to decide whether or not to go…My slight hesitancy was crap weather, having to go by myself, and having to work in the morning. In the end, I’m really glad I went solo. I got to meet Audra & John Ben of Sound of Cicada, I met Yeji the superstar, Natasha the photographer and her boy (thanks for the tips on concert photography, mine are crap), I met another patent attorney to-be, I met one of the editors of IDS, guy who likes CEX, guy driving back to Chicago, the couple from Atlanta who travel a lot to see Jens and several others…If any of you guys read this, get in touch.


Totally Michael made me think a little of girl talk, because he’d just set his computer to go and dance on the stage, but eventually he picked up the mic & started & I have to admit I liked it. Also, he had a high school punk rock feel once he picked his guitar up, which I think is an excellent thing. I’m not saying he was excellent, he was retarded, but I’d see him again. Apparently he’s a huge Matt & Kim fan too, which makes him alright by me. Check out Cheerleaders vs. Drill Team…I thought it was pretty entertaining.

Jens Lekman & his band

(the last few were during Opposite of Hallelujah)

(Everyone on stage was pretending to be an airplane)

ENCORE III (Pockets Full of Money <<< MUCH Thanks to Yeji, you’re a lifesaver)

My Lord I’m a tool sometimes

AFTER PARTY @ Space 101

For my entire photo album of the show or to download all of these pictures in full quality, click here.

Also, I met a guy named Adam, whose photos of the show are Here.


  1. Hey there ! great pics I’m the guy from Chicago. I agree Terese was just adorable, im envious of your picture with her. That concert was short of a religious experience for me. It was great to meet some cool people too. Hit me up if your ever in the Chicago area. I know Jay (CEX guy) is heading up for Jens on the 2nd and was trying to convince Natasha and her friend to come up.

  2. Greetings! I was just going through random Google searches and came across this page. I was wondering if you knew of anyone who had pictures from the under-21 show? It really was an amazing show and he played a great set. I’ve been looking everywhere and figured I’d try here. Great website!

  3. […] light-hearted energy to it, and both shows I’ve seen just make you feel so happy to be alive. Jens Lekman pretended he was a plane and flew around the stage. That was cool. PB&J played with the enthusiasm of a band on its first or last show ever….it […]

  4. […] this week, from the cats who throw Daft Crunk every week at Jakes in Bloomington (where I saw Jens). Spinning is DJ Flufftronix & Action Jackson. Check them out at […]

  5. […] the inclusion of LCD Soundsystem’s “Sound of Silver.” (Cory would probably add Lekman, #8, to the objections…sample). Not only is “Sound of Silver” listenable, it made […]

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