Wednesday, August 1

Live: Peter Bjorn And John

The Lady Doc and I caught these wonderful Swedes at The Fonda on Tuesday. This performance was actually a makeup for a canceled show from May or June, which freed original openers Fujiya & Miyagi to do their own show.

Man, I can't even remember when I bought the tix for this concert, but in the meantime, PB&J "fell ass-backwards into the pop song of the year" and have been all over the place in support of Writer's Block (which has sold 91,914 copies in the US as of 7/11/07). In fact, they were just in Japan the day before this show. This popularity--and the fact that KROQ was involved--probably explained the prevalence of the hoi polloi. There were even some actual fraternity members in attendance.

Anyway, I had heard that they were not so tight live--and I experienced them only from afar at Coachella--so I didn't have extremely high expectations. However, I think they've been practicing a lot since then because they were quite good. The vocals were generally spot-on, the stringed work was clean and tonally pleasing, and the drums were surprisingly more technical than they are on the record.

They played all of the hits but with slight tweaks from the recorded versions. Some tracks sounded more sparse, others were cranked to eleven, and others (see "Amsterdam") were stripped down to just vocals, guitar, and light percussion. Overall, I missed some of the elements from the LP.

For mid-set favorite "Young Folks," the band enlisted Boom Bip on bongos and Gena Olivier from L.A.'s own Midnight Movies for Victoria Bergsman's part. Good choices, PB&J!

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