Love Is All Proves Live Is All

June 8th, 2009

Love Is All – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 5, 2009


Having just finished a European tour in support of A Hundred Things Keep Me Up All Night, Love Is All made Music Hall of Williamsburg the lucky spot for the band’s return to the U.S. If months on the road were getting to them, it didn’t show. This is an incredibly consistent live band. Especially Josephine Olausson, lead singer of the Swedish five-piece, who embodies the band’s tightly wound aesthetic. She’s a spritely package of contradiction in an elementary school teacher’s uniform—bow in hair, gray blazer and patent leather shoes—who bounds around the stage with a shaker or cowbell in her hand, tossing them aside to belt out “I keep…the one…I love…in the freezer!” James Ausfahrt on saxophone is even more impressive. His skill is unmatched in indie rock, not that there is a lot of competition.

Love Is All’s catchy formula seems completely unstoppable. The new songs were as dance-worthy as anything to date. And in a display of indie-rock torch passing, Hamish Kilgour, from the ’80s New Zealand band the Clean, sat in to play drums on “Wishing Well.” (Olausson joked, “We loved them so much we stole one of their songs,” referring to the similarity of the keyboard melody in the Clean’s hit “Tally Ho.”) Ladybug Transistor’s Gary Olsen also joined in, on trumpet, adding to the punchy brass section.

Those in Love Is All truly love every minute playing live. They joke with each other onstage or jump down into the audience to dance. They are a genuine group of friends and they take their music very seriously. They’re just having too much fun to let this turn into work, and it translates into every part of the show. —Jason Dean