BY TIM HINELY / PHOTOS BY JD BAMFORD
I’ve wanted to see this Swedish sister duo since hearing their enchanting debut a few years back, but their live shows eluded me. At the beginning of the set at Denver’s Ogden Theatre, sister Klara stated that it had been three years since they’d last played the city (opening for Lykke Li). I wondered aloud to a pal if the Odgen might be a bit too big a venue for them, like they should maybe be playing the Larimer Lounge or the Hi-Dive, but I underestimated this band’s popularity as the sold out, buzzing crowd at the Ogden proved that. Heck, it seems like these two (the other being Johanna and they had a drummer and a pedal steel player with them as well) could be outright huge pop stars if that was a path they’d chosen, but they go for a more low-key approach, where songwriters like Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons are more important.
Coming out dressed in what looked like gold lamé wrap, I was confused until I remember their latest record is Stay Gold (released in June of this year) and this their clothing and the backdrop fit with the theme. They opened with “The Lions Roar”, the title track from their previous, sophomore effort from 2012, and from there they slipped into the gorgeous title track of Stay Gold. After that came a mix of tunes from the two records including “Blue” and the stunning “In the Hearts of Men” (in my opinion one of their best songs). They did an unplugged version of “Ghost Town” and then a soaring version of “My Silver Lining” and even tossed in a Jack White cover, “Love Interruption.”
The gals told a story of when they played Nashville they received a call from Mr. White himself, being a big thrill for these young ladies. They told other stories, too. In fact in between songs the girls seemed quite chatty (being young and uttering the word “awesome” quite a bit, but hey, even an old fart like me uses that word all of the time).
After an hour they left the stage but came back out for three encores including a cover of Townes Van Zandt’s gorgeous “Colorado Girl” as well as “Master Pretender” from Stay Gold and ending their set with a rousing version of “Emmylou”: (another one of their best songs) which turned into a singalong with the crowd joining in.
These ladies have the confidence and the songs and I for one, cannot wait to hear their next record—and will be front and center at their next Denver gig as well.
Photo credit: JD Bamford Photography (http://jdbamford.photography/performance)