November 21, 2016
The Wiltern- Los Angeles, CA
“I watched my father build a sewer system for my house when I was six years old and now we’re playing the Wiltern with people opening doors for us,” lead singer, Lukas Forchhammer said as he looked out into the crowd during Lukas Graham’s sold out show.
Coming out on stage, dressed modestly in a white tank top and black slacks, Lukas Forchhammer peered into the screaming crowd. The band consisted of pianist Morten Ristorp AKA Rizzy Rizzy; drummer Mark Falgren, bassist Magnus Larsson and three touring musicians who played trumpet, trombone and saxophone. The 15 song set kicked off with Take The World By Storm, a more upbeat song that Forchhammer later in the set described as the happy song about his dad passing. The night would feature childhood stories about Forchhammer and his relationship with his parents, his friends and constant thanking of the fans who came out.
By the third song, Hayo, Forchhammer introduced Magnus Larsson’s bass guitar, Gina who was born in 1964. “She’s been around,” Forchhammer jokes as he explains how sometimes one night stands don’t work out. He tells the crowd that this song has never been played in America yet and began a chant of “Hayo” with the crowd.
Throughout the set, Forchhammer and Larrson would run across stage nonstop, making sure everyone had a good view of them. Their energy was contagious and so much so that Forchhammer had to pause the band as he fixed his in-ears. “When the crowd is so loud you need extra tape on your in-ears…thank you!” He said before engaging in a conversation with a female fan. “I heard someone in the front say ‘take your shirt off’, but reciprocation is key.” He joked.
“Ladies & gentleman, this is our home away from home… It was two years ago when we agreed that when we have a sold out show in LA, that’s when we are a successful band… so thanks for making us successful,” Forchhammer said before kicking off one of their slower songs, What Happened To Perfect. The next two songs, Criminal Mind and Better Than Yourself (Criminal Mind Part 2) were dedicated to Forchhammer’s friends in jail. He explained that when he goes home and visits them, it means the world to him when they tell him that his songs help and inspire them.
After the slower portion of the set concluded, Lukas Graham performed one more semi-slow song about Forchhammer’s father’s passing called You’re Not There. Before beginning, Forchhammer spoke for some time to the crowd about how much his father meant to him and how much he admired and looked up to him. It was an intimate and heartfelt moment that brought everyone together. “This is about my idol.”
With the slower portion of the set completed, Forchhammer quickly asked for the crowd to give it up for the people in the music industry that made it possible for them to tour. Then they kicked off with Only One, a super funky song that’s impossible to not love. As the song began, Forchhammer and Larrson faced each other, each on opposite sides of the stage, then ran and chest bumped. Unfortunately the song is not recorded and according to Forchhammer they only play it live because it’s so fun. Hopefully we get a studio version soon because it had everyone in the venue dancing along.
Incorporating a bit of hip-hop style, Lukas Graham performed Nice Guy. There was some drummer love, with the entire band circling Mark Falgren as Forchhammer asked the ladies to cheer him on for a drum solo. After they quickly obliged, Falgren definitely delivered, pouding on the skins.
“As soon as I became a father, I became so much more grateful for a lot of stuff. And you know what? The best thing I can aspire to do in life is not being a successful singer or business man or touring musician. The best thing I can do in life is to give my daughter the same happy home my mother and father gave me,” Forchhammer confides in the crowd as Happy Home begins.
After Happy Home, the band exited the stage, and the crowd instantly begged for more. Their cheers didn’t go unanswered, as Forchhammer made his way on stage. Before the rest of the band came out, he applauded the crowd. “No audience, no show. That’s my slogan. Ladies and gentlemen, to the joys and the pain, to the noise and the shame, to this next drink, may you poison my brain.” He rhymed as he chugged the reminder of his beer. Morten Ristorp joined him on stage as they began the first encore, Funeral. This song had a gospel sound to it, that could have used a choir, but instead the audience did the job, and did it well.
“Can we do another encore?” Forchhammer asked as everyone anxiously awaited what was next. He, Larrson and Falgren sat side by side on the drum riser while the beginning keys to 7 Years began.
Lukas Graham went above and beyond and played a show for everyone to enjoy. The way they incorporate R&B, hip-hop, folk, pop, funk and gospel is truly something everyone needs to see. They don’t need any fancy production to put on a good show. The stage set-up was simple, yet the show was sophisticated. Lukas Forchhammer connected with the crowd on a deeper, intimate level that isn’t often seen at shows. His genuine attitude and love for his family and friends radiates through the songs he sings and the stories he tells. These guys are not a one hit wonder, and this sold out show at the Wiltern proves just that.
Review by: Nicole Lemberg