I was surrounded by little kids at the show last night. Usually when I say that, I mean young teens but this time I mean literal little kids. Literal kids who couldn’t have been older than seven or eight years old. I didn’t really mind and only really noticed it when I felt compelled to keep moving towards the back of the venue in order to make it possible for them to see the stage better. I heard people voicing their opinions on having such young kids at a concert. Most of them were judgmental and negative but, in my mind, I was happy as shit. I don’t think there is such a thing as being too young to enjoy live music. I think it’s an experience that the kids from last night will remember for their whole life and that, right there, is the magic of concerts.
Last night’s opener was a great introduction into live music for these kids outside of the couple of F-bombs he dropped during some of the songs. Hein Cooper is a solo act from Australia. His Australian mixed with his intricate guitar playing, looping, and homemade beats was the perfect warm-up for what was to come. Hein’s music was calm but thoughtful. He had enough spirit to make you feel like you were watching a whole band, not just a dude with a guitar and some electronic doo-dads. It was clear that the younger crowd didn’t really care what was going on while Hein was on stage. They were running around with giant slices of pizza in one hand and their parent’s iPhone in the other as they impatiently waited for the main event.Now, I’m not a fan of much pop music. I find it redundant, boring, and, well, redundant, but when I watched Lukas Graham perform at Jingleball a couple of months ago, something caught me. Singer Lukas Forchhammer had something about him that I just couldn’t take my eyes off of. He had this positive aura about him that drew me in and created something of an obsession. Beyond Lukas, the rest of his band was energetic at Jingleball and, even though they only had time for three songs, they had me hooked and I was more than excited to get a chance to see them headline a show last night.
I was wondering what would happen when, instead of a huge, sold-out arena, Lukas Graham was performing in a mid-size venue that was almost full. Sometimes a change like that can completely change the feeling a band emits from the stage but that was not the case at all last night. Lukas Graham stormed the stage and I was instantly hit with a feeling of pure realness coming from the stage.
Although Lukas stole the spotlight for majority of the show with his pure cuteness and vocal power, the band that was behind him was hard to ignore. With a complete horn section, the band did their best to stay in the spotlight and, with Lukas’ help, they seemed to keep up pretty well. One thing I noticed when I saw Lukas Graham at Jingleball was how truly cohesive these guys are as a group. Even though Lukas takes the spotlight majority of the time, he is the first to give the band members props and fully introduce them to the crowd. Now, at many of the shows I go to, introducing band members is not a huge deal but at a pop show like this, I think it is a huge deal and is definitely one of the reasons why I fell head over heels for these guys.
Lukas Graham played through their set with passion and fire. Even during the slower, ballad like songs, there was this undeniable sense of energy radiating off the stage and throughout the crowd. There’s just something about the delivery of Lukas Graham that can catch even a metal head like myself.
Lukas Graham is best known for their song “7 Years” and, I must admit, I find that song absolutely beautiful regardless of how poppy and un-rockish it is. As soon as the band started up the song, I felt like I had gotten hit in the throat and gut at the same time. The beauty behind the lyrics, the masterful instrumentation and, above all else, the pure conviction that you get from Lukas and the other members in the band is seriously haunting and quickly brought tears to my eyes. Regardless of if you love the song or feel like it’s just another overplayed song on the radio, seeing and hearing it live is truly a magical thing and I suggest everyone catch Lukas Graham live if only for that one song.
Throughout the show, I had a couple of moms ask me if I could help with their kids. At first it kind of caught me off guard but then I understood. The first mom came up to me and you could tell her young daughter was a bit scared being that my face looks like I got in a fight with a tackle box with the number of piercings I have. “I’m sorry and I don’t mean for this to come off as rude but you look like you’ve been to a couple concerts before. Is there any way you could help get my daughter a little closer to the stage and kind of keep your eye on her? What kind of beer do you want? I’ll grab you a drink!” At first I kind of laughed but honestly, I didn’t mind and I thought it was adorable. Before I could even introduce myself to the timid little girl, I was approached by three more moms asking the same thing and, before I knew it, I was Mary freaking Poppins surrounded by the kids who just wanted a chance to get up a bit closer to the stage. At first I was reluctant but being able to see just how excited these kids were was more than enough to make the free babysitting worth it—oh, and the free beer was pretty tasty too.
Last night wasn’t a typical show for me. It was a lot calmer than I’m used to and I felt more like a babysitter than the rockstar that I strive to be but that just added to the beauty that was last night’s Lukas Graham show.
P.S. You’re never too young to enjoy a concert. Kudos to every single parent that brought their little ones out last night.