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Concert Reviews:
Lukas Graham takes the Fillmore by storm

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2017

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DETROIT -- Give Lukas Forchhammer credit for being as aware of how far his band, Lukas Graham, has to go as well as how far its come.

The Danish group may be nominated for three Grammy Awards this year, but the singer was quick to tell the crowd Tuesday night, Jan. 24, at the Fillmore Detroit, that "do you know there can be twice as many people in this place? That just means we'll come back and fill it next time."

And given that the group made a leap from the comparatively tiny Shelter in just nine months, there was no doubting Forchhammer's resolve.

The boyish and chatty to a fault 28-year-old singer and his six-piece band certainly generated good word of mouth from Tuesday's show. The 15-song, 75-minute show performance was both energetic and earnest, filled with a soul-pop and lite hip-hop blend similar to early Maroon5, with dark-tinged biographical lyrics about Forchhammer's incarcerated friends and the death of his father four years ago -- so much so that at one point towards the end of the show he promised that "the next four songs won't be nothing sad."

But the Fillmore crowd, mostly teens and tweens, bought into the emotional range, so loud at times that the group had to re-start two of the songs because Forchhammer was distracted.

The audience also clearly embraced Lukas Graham beyond "7 Years," the hit whose three Grammy nominations include the prestigious Song of the Year and Record of the Year categories. Drawing primarily from last year's self-titled sophomore release, aka "The Blue Album," the group came out with a muscular renditions of "Take The World By Storm" and "Drunk In The Morning," fortified by a three-piece horn section, and the reggae-tinged "Hayo." Forchhammer, who quickly peeled off his white T-shirt to reveal a sleeveless undershirt and eventually wound up bar-chested, worked the spare stage set from side to side, hyperkinetic but not polished and dropping his share of F-bombs during the night along with a remark about oral sex. The new father, whose four-month-old daughter is on the road as well, offered an apology for that at one point -- then slyly acknowledged that he didn't mean it.

Nevertheless, the group kept the mood buoyant, even during poignant songs such as "Criminal Mind, Pt. 1" and "You're Not There." "Nice Guy" was extended into a lively jam showcasing Mark "Lovestick" Falgren, while Forchhammer gave plenty of love to Magnus Larsson and his 1964 Fender Jazz bass named Gina.

The frontman also made it clear that he fully intends to live up to that promise of return. "When we come back to Detroit ladies and gentlemen, are you gonna come with us?" he asked. The exuberant response confirmed Lukas Graham would likely have another half-house, or so -- and probably more once those faithful spread the word.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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