On Friday, I was in Nijmegen for my second Jens Lekman concert. My first time seeing Jens Lekman was a few years ago in Paradiso Amsterdam. It was a good one, as I went with an awesome group of international friends (could be a good start of a joke; One Turk, one Australian and one Israeli go to a concert…) and the opening band was the Turkish group Kim Ki O.
This time… well it was very very different. For one thing, Jens was super jet lagged. He had come from shows in the US directly into the Netherlands, and had clearly not that much time to recover. Not that his performance was hindered, but one could say he was low on energy.
And he was alone on stage. Well, almost. He apparently is touring with a sampler and a drummer, hence doing much on his own, and not really having any additional stage presence with him. Which can make a concert very intimate… if you are not so jet lagged.
He was also maybe a bit unlucky, as the venue changed from the indie concert hall Doornroosje to the small hall of de Vereniging, which is a beautiful hall, but made the whole thing feel like a school concert to me. A stage that really is a high stage and a long hall with murals and fancy lights. Reminded me of the time when I saw Wilco in one of Brown’s halls, it just isn’t the same as a concert hall.
But that didn’t stop anyone from making the most out of it. Jens explained his literal songs in detail before playing them, and sort of making it awkward with Waiting for Kirsten, which he wrote for Kirsten Dunst (while waiting for her to show up at a Gothenburg club). And of course he was adorable as always. But I still prefer his Amsterdam performance.
I’ll leave you with one of his beautiful songs, The End of the World Is Bigger Than Love. Go over to Stereogum and give it a go.