With New Music, Little Dragon Kick Off Midsummer at Terminal 5June 23rd, 2014
Little Dragon – Terminal 5 – June 20, 2014
I can remember it like it was yesterday. A magical summer day two years back after a downpour rinsed off Brooklyn and the steamy heat rose to engulf the members of Little Dragon as they stepped onstage at Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell. The Swedish electro group, led by Yukimi Nagano, had been touring in support of their latest, Ritual Union. I had just recently returned from Sweden where I had attended a wedding, and coincidentally the happy couple danced the night away with me that unforgettable evening. Needless to say the quartet had a lot to live up to that summer night.
Playing the first of two sold-out shows at Terminal 5 on Friday night, Nagano and gang slowly marched onstage with drummer Erik Bodin leading the procession dressed in a black unitard replete with sewn-on DayGlo flowers. Fans knew they were in for a treat. Opening with “Mirror,” from their recent release, Nabuma Rubberband, the frontwoman swayed in her knee-high socks and sparkly dress. The crowd erupted for “Please Turn,” from Ritual Union, as a sea of bodies undulated across the dance floor. Nagano got into her groove twirling and shaking her tambourine to “Underbart,” which led into claps from the elated audience for “Crystalfilm.” Expressing their joy to be back in New York City, the lady of the night informed revelers that it was Midsummer’s Eve, a big holiday for Swedes in which “everyone gets crazy and dances around.”
No difference on Friday in New York City. In the meat of the set, “Ritual Union” and the new LP’s lead single, “Klapp Klapp,” climaxed the night with a confetti-cannon explosion. How’s that for a celebration? A short exit barely fooled the audience into thinking that there wouldn’t be an encore, as the Swedes returned promptly with a trio of treats: Nabuma Rubberband’s title track, plus oldies but goodies “Runabout” and “Twice.” As if a confetti cannon weren’t enough, a balloon drop was perfectly triggered when the second-to-last song ended, leaving a cloud of inflated friends looming. Terminal 5 was a flurry of Midsummer converts as they exited the venue against stray balloons following them into the night. —Sharlene Chiu