The Upstate Life
The Upstate Life

Tuesday, May 01, 2007
TUL's Take: Peter Bjorn & John @ 9:30 Club

I would've never though that Peter Bjorn & John would sellout the 9:30 Club, at least that was what I thought three months ago, yet there I was in a packed house with over a thousand other fans awaiting the Swedish group's first date of their proper US tour. I came in at the very end of Au Revoir Simone's set so I really can't comment on them. At around 9pm, Fujiya & Miyagi took the stage and introduced the talkative DC crowd to their eclectic lounge rock. I had to mention talkative as one of the adjectives of the audience because it was apparently social hour during F&M's performance. Maybe it was because I was up in the balcony, but it sounded like over 50% of the room was carrying a conversation. Maybe they were there just to hear "Young Folks." I don't know. Anyway, this was the first time I've heard this UK band but I was impressed with what they had to offer during their 45 minute long set. Their material was largely comprised off of their latest LP, Transparent Things, which I'll soon be obtaining after they won me over last night.

Peter Bjorn & John took the stage in front of their Peter Bjorn & John Backdrop and plugged in their Peter Bjorn & John Guitar and Peter Bjorn & John Bass Amps. Oh, and the drummer sat behind his Peter Bjorn & John Bass Drum. They kicked off things with "Far Away, By My Side" from their pre-Grey's Anatomy album, Falling Out, and followed that up with the B-side "(I Just Wanna) See Through". Suffice it to say, I could easily determine that the majority of the crowd had no idea what these songs were (guilty as charged in regards to the B-side, I might add). Material from Writer's Block finally emerged when PBJ performed "The Chills" which was then followed by a powerful rendition of "Start to Melt." My favorite part of the evening was PBJ's slow, acoustic interpretation of "Amsterdam" which was a pleasant surprise. Of course, the biggest audience reaction was saved for "Young Folks" which featured guest vocals by Heather D'Angelo of Au Revoir Simone, who did a great job I might add. One thing that really blew me away about this group was, despite their deceiving appearance and entertaining accents, the fact that they could actually rawk. They closed the show out with covers of Television Personalities' "Silly Girl" and The Sonics' "Psycho" which demonstrated the versatility of a band known more for its light, poppy side. All and all, they put on a solid show and I'm definitely looking forward to their V-Fest performance. Setlist via Brightest Young Things:

1) Far Away, By My Side (Falling Out)
2) [I Just Wanna] See Through (B-side of Let's Call It Off single)
3) The Chills (Writer's Block)
4) Start to Melt (Writer's Block)
5) Big Black Coffin (Falling Out)
6) Collect, Select, Reflect (Peter Bjorn and John)
7) Amsterdam (Writer's Block)
8) Paris 2004 (Writer's Block)
9) Young Folks with Heather of Au Revoir Simone (Writer's Block)
10) Object Of My Affection (Writer's Block)
11) Up Against The Wall (Writer's Block)


12) Poor Cow (Writer's Block)
13) Let's Call It Off (Writer's Block)
14) Teen Love (Concretes cover recorded on Falling Out)
15) Silly Girl (Television Personalities cover recorded on Teen Love single)
16) Psycho (The Sonics cover)

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