photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
A little more than halfway through Jens Lekman's sold-out show Wednesday at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, the Swedish singer-songwriter delivered the kind of magic moment that has made him so adored, even on the scale of a cult favorite.After DC, Jens Lekman toured his way over to NYC and he plays his third Music Hall of Williamsburg show in a row tonight (10/10). Luke Temple of Here We Go Magic opens. Geoffrey O'Connor of Crayon Fields opened the first two nights aka last night and Friday (10/7). Here are some pictures from the first NYC show. They continue below....
During a delicate solo version of "Black Cab," the notes he plucked on his acoustic guitar gently twinkled and ascended into the ceilings of the sanctuary. He sang in a dour deadpan during the song's downtrodden beginning ("I wanna sleep in my bed / I wanna clean up my head /Don't wanna look this dead /Don't wanna feel this dread") and elevated to a stirring falsetto for the song's hopeful climax ("So I say turn up the music / Take me home or take me anywhere").
It's one of Lekman's best songs -- sweet, funny, touching, disarmingly straightforward and delivered without a trace of irony. He splits the difference between Stephin Merritt's pop-savantism and Jonathan Richman's aura of childlike wonder. That's the combination that has made him so lovable and approachable, the kind of person you want to sit with cross-legged on a couch while drinking tea.
Throughout "Black Cab," the audience -- and even Lekman's drummer -- sat in rapt silence. The 30-year-old crooner recognized and acknowledged the significance of what happened.
"That song found a home here in this synagogue," he said at its conclusion, sounding as genuine as always.[Washington Post]