The Triple Door got a whole lot cuter last night when Denmark's Tina Dico took the stage. She, along with band mates Helgi Jónsson and Dennis Ahlgren, played to an enthusiastic crowd at the intimate downtown venue, and it became quickly apparent that Seattle really, really likes her. And so do I.
What is it about Scandinavian people that is so damn attractive? Jónsson opened the show with a short set and some of his own singer-songwriter pop. He's a skinny, unassuming, reticent little guy with mussed hair, but he has a voice like Thom Yorke that demands attention. He seemed shy, but continually had the audience rolling with laughter at awkward observations and the occasional malapropism. "English," he said. "It's a hard language. We had it in school."Then, Dico came out. I first saw her fronting England's trip-hop group Zero 7 during its 2004 tour and was instantly taken. She's a tiny, blond siren with big eyes and pale skin. Her skin is so pale, in fact, that the pictures I took from my seat were all completely useless. You could say I'm crushing a little. Okay, I totally dig her. But it's not a creepy kind of infatuation (though "infatuation" is subjective). What Dico possesses is the ability to grab you with her charm and non-threatening good looks, and hold you there with her powerful voice, a sound you almost don't believe can come from such a person.
Dico sings a lot about love lost, love unrequited, feelings of fear and hope. She prefaced most of her songs last night with a short story about who or what each was about. And I can't speak for the rest of the crowd, but when Dico was singing about something, her energy put me in that song. When she sang about a dude, I felt like the dude. I wanted to walk on stage and say, "Hey, I'm really sorry I couldn't be what you wanted me to be. Can you ever forgive me?"
Supported all evening by Jónsson and her long-time collaborator Dennis Ahlgren, the three gave Dico's music a rich sound; it's no wonder Zero 7 scooped her up. Everyone bounced around to various on-stage instruments, including a synthesizer and a trombone.
Dico just released her newest LP here in the States, and judging by what I heard last night, it's full of beautiful gems. Dico says she wrote the album after she reached a point in her life when she thought everything would be wrapped up, and she could relax, but "it wasn't that way and probably never would be." That's sentiment anyone can relate to.