Lukas Graham | 01.16.16

Lukas Graham played an intimate show at The Pageant in St. Louis—and they were unreal.

With them they brought Hein Cooper, an Australian singer-songwriter able to hold his own onstage using only a guitar, a microphone, a looper, and a sampling pad. With an Ed Sheeran–esque disposition and skillset, Cooper won the hearts of the tween girls in attendance, all of whom flocked to the merchandise table to meet him minutes after his set. Although his talent cannot be denied, it felt a bit sleepy as a preface to Lukas Graham’s show.

With the happy and upbeat “Take the World by Storm,” the sleepy energy dissipated when Lukas Graham took the stage. The four-piece band—consisting of vocalist Lukas Forchhammer, bassist Magnus Larsson, drummer Mark Falgren, and pianist Morten Ristorp—produce a sound that can only be described as funk-pop fusion, as the bass grooves force your feet to move and the sultry fluidity of the vocals have you humming along, regardless of whether you know the lyrics.

Cycling through other upbeat songs such as “Drunk in the Morning” and “Hayo,” which featured lots of eager audience participation, Forchhammer spoke of how far they were from home and thanked the crowd for welcoming them. He also joked of how each time they’ve visited St. Louis, they see a new part of the Arch (they haven’t yet seen the entire thing). He then spoke of how his songwriting has been a crutch his entire life. Whether it was the loss of his father, drunken mornings, or something to lift himself up, writing has always been his backbone.

The band closed out their show with a two-song encore, including “Funeral,” which depicts the vocalist’s vision of his own funeral, followed by “7 Years,” an emotional ode to the vocalist’s late father.

All in all, Lukas Graham is a band I would be interested in seeing again, as their obvious passion for what they do and the mental investment they put into their music is second to none of any other pop group. The only thing remotely disappointing about the show was the lack of people in attendance. This show was one I expected to sell out, but it was far from it, creating an insanely intimate setting in which you could take a seat at a round table with a friend if you desired, relax, and enjoy the music. | Alyssa Bardol

Photo by Alyssa Bardol; view full photo album here

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