The Danish band, Lukas Graham, is a band that can’t be classified. Many have categorized their tunes as pop-soul or indie-rap. But their weird subgenre doesn’t negate one thing: they’re hella good.
I only realized this at the Wiltern during one of their recent shows. As a frequent concert goer, I have suffered through plenty of underwhelming acts. But Lukas Graham brought their best to a sold-out Los Angeles show.
While they are not yet a household name, their songs “7 Years” and “Mama Said” have been on the radio constantly. Some of their lesser known songs like “Strip No More” demand a listen.
During a particular moment, frontman Lukas Forchhammer pulled out a beer. Although he only imbibed during song breaks, it signaled that this was not your run-of-the-mill indie show.
At the Wiltern, the band performed song after song and proved that they were more than the band who released “7 Years.” When they broke out the promiscuous “Strip No More,” I saw a few worried mothers ushering their very young children outside. They eventually returned for “Nice Guy.”
During one point, both Forchhammer and bassist, Magnus Larsson stripped off their shirts to the deafening cheers of approval (Sidenote: Larsson was glistening). The band continued their energetic set with the occasional joke or introduction of a song.
The live performance allowed Forchhammer to share the stories behind the songs. Forchhammer’s childhood is the central point for many of the songs off their self-titled album. In his introduction to “Criminal Mind” the Dane spoke about growing up in the marginalized community of Christiania. He continued with a specific incident about the incarceration of one of his friends over marijuana related charges.
Throughout the night, I became more impressed with the instrumentation and overall sound that Lukas Graham could produce. The addition of trumpet, saxophone, and trombone was very interesting and added an element of classical soul.
The one thing I discovered? Lukas Graham is definitely not a one-hit wonder.