Sometimes things work out.
Serendipity. I hate that word, but I’ve been using it a lot lately. I had wanted to see Jens Lekman in the U.S since earlier this year but i never had a chance to. He had played one gig in NYC which sold out really fast. I moved to Korea in August and I’ve been checking out concerts in the area ever since. I’ve passed on seeing Billy Joel and Jamiroquai. However, two weeks ago i went to Jens’ website to check out what he’s been upto and saw that he was playing in Seoul on November 29th. It was serendipitous like kate beckinsale and john cusack. With a trusty crew, I found myself quite buzzed and a few feet from the Swedish crooner. The show was awesome. The opening act was a Korean band that did a cover of “My Generation” that would have made Pete Townsend proud, complete with rubbing the guitar strings off of the edge of the wall. I loved the show for the music but also for the differences that i noticed between this show in Seoul as opposed to an American show. Firstly, I could afford to drink here because drinks cost the same at the show that they do at any bar. What a concept! Secondly, there was no overzealous security staff and there was no pushing despite the show being in a small club. People were free to smoke and drink wherever they liked, which I enjoyed eventhough I don’t smoke. I suppose I’m just old-fashioned. I like to see people do things they were allowed to do thirty or forty years ago. At the end of the show, my friend Steph and I simply stepped onstage and went and talked to Victor, the DJ of the show and a very friendly,well dressed man.
He was very polite and to my surprise there was no S.W.A.T team popping up and surrounding us. Liberated and intoxicated from this new found freedom on stage, we made our way backstage and found Jens unwinding with a beer in a makeshift dressing room. He was just chillin with some friends and so we joined them, assuming the more the merrier. We had a brief convo with the troubador and complimented his show. I had never previously conversed with anyone whose music I had listened to so much, so I was sort of nervous and very relieved to find out he was as chill as suspected from his records. He was very accessible and gracious. We took photos and after finding the normal one a bit boring, we decided to take one of us “angry we were being abducted by aliens”. As evidenced in the picture below, Jens could have a future on the silver screen. Dare I say it, he may follow in the footsteps of crooners turned actors such as Harry Belafonte and LL Cool J. In the end, it was one of the best experiences I have had in Korea thus far. I got to go to a great show, get front row, sing every word of every song, meet one of my favourite singers, get drunk cheap and have a very memorable night out with my friends. Sometimes things work out.
some other photos of that evening in Club Freebird, Hongdae, Seoul: