Thursday, September 20, 2007

Peter, Bjorn and John at the Wiltern Theatre

My Peter, Bjorn and John tour de force continued as I opted in for another round at the Wiltern. It is amazing to think that they played Fingerprints Records and the Roxy in February, the KROQ show in May, the  Henry Fonda in August along with the House of Blues in San Diego and now the Wiltern in September. I can only imagine how many stamps their passports have this year alone.

The Clientele by the way of the U.K. opened with their wistful pop tunes that had a nod to 1960's pop. Alasdair Maclean (Guitars/Vocals) had a whisper based vocal delievery style that was refreshing to hear. Alasdair's guitar playing was extremely unique as it was based primarily on fingerpicking. At first I thought Alasdair had metal guitar picks on his fingers but it was actually his fingernails. Alasdair had a Fender Telecaster that was drenched in reverb as he pulled and plucked out guitar stabs. Mel Draisey (Keyboards/Violin/Vocals) added some pleasant background vocals and skillfull violin parts. The Clientele played songs off their latest Merge Records release "God Save The Clientele". I would check them out again if they do another tour.

The deluge of HD Video cameras setup at the Wiltern signified that this night would be documented on an upcoming Peter, Bjorn & John HD-DVD or Blu Ray disc. I think this is the second time that I have attended a DVD taping at the Wiltern with Muse being the first. The other intriguing component was that John actually sat behind the drum kit which was a first for me even though I have seen them four times now. Peter thanked John early in the set and the boys seemed happy to be playing together as well as being prone to some laughter on stage in between the songs. John provided some extra harmonies throughout the night and started off the song "Start to Melt". "Ancient Curse" is one of the bonus tracks of "Writer's Block" and John knocked it out of the park. Peter switched to bass during "Ancient Curse" as Bjorn was hunkered down in front of Peter's guitar pedalboard summoning up the feedback. Since the cameras were on the boys, one could sense the extra effort and energy that the band put out. Their live shows have always been high energy but tonight had some extra fire and urgency. Bjorn's earlier shyness has cleared up as he confidently stepped up to the microphone and sang "Amsterdam". "Paris 2004" had Peter showing off his harmonica skills and John hammered out the sythn pads and the shuffling drum beats. Mel Draisey from The Clientele slowly walked onto stage to provide her delicate vocals for "Young Folks". "Up Against The Wall" was a torrid closer for their set with Peter jumping down into the crowd to the delight of the fans below. The DVD of this show will make a fine stocking stuffer for the looming holiday season.

Peter, Bjorn & John setlist for the Wiltern Theatre (9/17/07)
"Let's Call It Off"
"Far Away"
"Start To Melt"
"The Chills"
"Ancient Curse"
"Paris 2004"
"Young Folks"
"Teen Love"
"I Don't Know"
"Objects of My Affection"
"Roll The Credits"
"Up Against The Wall"

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