Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Peter, Bjorn & John at Club Nokia

Was it a birthday party? Was it a concert? Actually, it was both. Peter, Bjorn & John stopped by Club Nokia to celebrate their ten year anniversary as a band with a career spanning set and a few special guests.

Peter, Bjorn & John

I double timed it down to Club Nokia to barely catch the opening chords of "Amsterdam" from their breakthrough album Writer's Block. The song was rearranged to a moodier version that suitably matched the scant lighting on the stage. "Far Away, By My Side" has a bigger punch live as Peter Moren (Vocals/Guitars) banged away at his Fender Telecaster Deluxe.

Bjorn Yttling (Bass/Vocals) did a fine job recreating the vocal effects of at the beginning of "The Chills" while laying down the wobbly bass line. John Eriksson (Drums) tapped the rims of his drums for the clicklity clack opening of "Living Things while Peter had switched to a Gibson SG for the slippery guitar riff. "It Don't Move Me" is easily my favorite tune from their new album with Peter switching to bass and Bjorn handling the keyboards. The Miike Snow remix of the song is pretty stellar in case you haven't checked it out.

"Just The Past" is where things really got interesting as the LA Ladies choir came out for the floating background vocals. The LA Ladies choir also stuck around to replace the child background vocals of "Nothing To Worry About" as Peter busted out the harmonica for a solo. The surprises didn't stop as Lykke Li came out with her highly kinetic dance moves for "Young Folks" along with Boom Bip on the bongos.

Things took a turn for the experimental when they played "Needles and Pills" from their Seaside Rock album to which Peter hoped that everyone brought their earplugs. Matt from Foreign Born came out with his guitar to assist the various instruments like cowbell, saxophone and trumpet that appeared on stage. It had seemed like a short set when they ran off stage but I didn't expect a six song encore.

"Stay This Way" was another highlight with the LA Ladies choir making another appearance and Bjorn manipulating the delay pedal for a spacey keyboard solo. "Let's Call It Off", "It Beats Me Everytime" and "(I Just Wanna) See Through" had me thinking that Peter, Bjorn & John might actually play all night. Bjorn did a public service announcement telling everyone to listen to The Feelies as they tore through "Fa Cé-La".

Peter thanked the crowd for helping them celebrate their birthday party and closed the evening with "The Object of My Affection". My only quibble is they didn't play "Up Against the Wall" but it is hard to complain after getting sixteen song setlist with multiple surprise guests. I guess you could say Peter, Bjorn and John had their cake and ate it too.

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