The rumors were true: Jens Lekman was in actually in Denver last night. In fact, the Swedish crooner had been in the state for a good 24 hours (and had by all accounts never played here before, as his last show a few years ago was canceled due to inclimate weather) and he was looking for a house show to play. The dudes at Brass Tree stepped in and by 10 p.m., the little show space was packed with Jens admirers.
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Two of the seven members of local multi-instrumentalist Chuck Potashner's latest project, Shaky Molars, played first, opening the impromptu performance with sweet, stripped down love songs. Potashner was usual genuinely flirty self, singing about making girls into the right kind of "Colorado girls," while visibly showing the giddiness that the audience too was feeling in anticipation of the headliner.
Apparently in town to perform at a wedding this weekend, Jens appeared in a linen shirt and modest cap, a grin that stretched ear to ear and shot out at the small but packed-tight crowd. Backed by a violin and minimal percussion, all attention was on Jens' voice, which sounded twice as beautiful and powerful as it did on his records. Between songs, he told wonderful stories of meeting Kirsten Dunst and growing up in Gothenburg, Sweden, the audience giggling and staring at the alt-pop singer.
Sadly, I was too caught up in Jens' sheer presence to take notes -- but I know he played "The Opposite of Hallelujah," "I Saw Her In the Anti-War Demonstration" and the tear-jerking closer "And I Remember Every Kiss." It was truly one of the best shows I have ever been fortunate enough to attend.