Lo-Fi-Fnk The Drake Hotel, Toronto ON, March 26

Lo-Fi-Fnk The Drake Hotel, Toronto ON, March 26
Looking to capitalise on some North American buzz they earned from some choice slots at both CMJ and SXSW, Malmö, Sweden’s Lo-Fi-Fnk made an intimate stop in the city to treat Torontonians in the know to arguably one of the "you had to be there” shows of the year. Instead of playing a much bigger venue across town with their tour mates the Presets, for an undisclosed reason Sweden’s best pop group lit up the cozy interior of the Drake’s Underground lounge. Though only two core members — Leo Drougge (bass, synths, vocals) and August Hellsing (synths) — a touring drummer named Link joined them on drum pads to erm, flesh out the band’s thumping beats and unforgettable Scando hooks. Onlookers were enthused, despite the trio’s standoffish Nordicness holding them back from joining in. Beginning with the lead song off their exceptional debut full-length Boylife, "City,” the overpowering bass kick-started plenty of head nodding that quickly erupted into thrusting amongst the 50 or so bodies up front. Lo-Fi-Fnk then followed their album’s track listing for the next three songs, building up the party vibe until their hyperactive anthem "Change Channel” made the dancing ballistic. Despite a few vocal glitches — including one slightly embarrassing moment where Leo halted his vocals, revealing the backing vocal track — and the fact that a lot of the show used pre-programming, Lo-Fi-Fnk brought the energy everyone was looking for, and a cool, collected posture that revealed they’re confident performers. Ending with an encore of the rare "A.D.T. (Act Don’t Talk),” the feeling afterwards was of a big rush that these guys will no longer be that unknown group from Sweden every fanatic is trying to keep a secret.

For a taste of what the boys in Lo-Fi-Fnk are all about, check out the mix they made on tour: Lo-Fi-Fnk "Tour Mix"