Snuggled up with Jens Lekman at Lille Vega

***** (5 stars out of 6); September 12 at Lille Vega

At Lille Vega Wednesday night, Jens Lekman won over a tightly packed crowd with lyrical wittiness and quirky storytelling – not that they needed winning over.

The gig was sold out to a crowd composed of several nationalities. Whispers in Swedish were particularly audible but Lekman, a Swede himself, berated his Danish skills and bantered in English.

Starting the show with some of his quieter songs, like ‘Become Someone Else’s’, Lekman told his first anecdote while introducing ‘I Know What Love Isn’t’. He said the song was about his time living in Melbourne, Australia, when he considered marrying his best friend so he could stay in the country. “It appealed to us that the marriage would be based on a purpose rather than a vague feeling,” he said.

When the tempo got faster, Lekman, who was wearing a dorky black up-turned cap, button-up shirt and jeans, held his acoustic guitar high and swayed, bending his skinny knees. During ‘The Opposite of Hallelujah’, he replaced his guitar with a tambourine and indulged in a dancing interlude, and mimed the last delicate notes with his fingertips pointed to the ceiling.

The second story of the night was about Kirsten Dunst. Lekman explained his attempts to stalk the actress after hearing that she was a fan of his music. Though he had tried desperately hard not to be impressed by his new fan, he gave in to the excitement eventually – after all, this was big for a boy who had grown up next to a potato factory. The experience inspired ‘Waiting For Kirsten’, and the audience ate it up.

Lekman politely asked for the lights to be turned out while he played ‘Cowboy Boots’, a quiet contrast to the upbeat calypso-tune that followed. After playing for an hour, Lekman and his bass player, drummer, violinist and keyboardist left the stage to uproarious applause.

They saved their audience bruised palms and returned promptly for a three song encore. ‘A Postcard To Nina’ was another highlight, and a joke Lekman made about German vegetarian food was well received. Lekman told the song’s accompanying tale: Nina had introduced him to her father as her fiancé, so she could run away to the US with her girlfriend. The crowd was engaged, too.

Like a circle, as Lekman explained, he finished the concert with the same tune he had started with – the melancholic, ‘Every Little Hair Knows Your Name’. The song takes listeners through one of Lekman’s breakups. Apparently, he got buff lifting his heavy heart to the gym. “I can do 100 push ups. I could probably do two [hundred] if I was bored,” he chimed beautifully. Lessons in love and loss – Jens Lekman style.