Showing posts with label Peter Bjorn and John. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peter Bjorn and John. Show all posts

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.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Depeche Mode at the Pearl Theater in Las Vegas

Four shows in four different cities. Crazy? Probably. Worth it? Absolutely. I have no reservations saying that Depeche Mode is the biggest synthesizer based band in the world. They currently are embarking on the "Tour of the Universe" in support of their latest album Sounds Of The Universe.

Peter, Bjorn & John

Peter, Bjorn & John have a very special place here at Amateur Chemist. My very first photopass with my then brand new Nikon D200 was back in August 2007 covering them at the House of Blues San Diego. It is nice to seem them ascend the ranks going from playing Fingerprints Records to opening for Depeche Mode.

Living Thing will unfairly get buried in the vast number of albums released this year. I was puzzled during the first couple of listens but it quickly sunk in. The electronic sparseness of "It Don't Move Me" to the catchy explicit chorus of "Lay It Down" will infect your eardrums with repeated spins. In the live department, Peter's voice translates very well and has a number of dance moves to accompany their catchy songs. Bjorn switches between the bass and keyboards with John standing behind the drum kit with his snazzy Michael Jackson Thriller button.

It is no easy task opening for Depeche Mode, but Peter, Bjorn & John give it their all. Peter made a mad dash out into the crowd during "Young Folks" to get the crowd more involved in the show. While I was hoping they would repeat "Up Against The Wall" which was played in Santa Barbara, they opted for the noisy closer of "Object of My Affection" I can't wait to see them at their own show on November 21st at Club Nokia.

Peter, Bjorn & John setlist at the Pearl Theater in Las Vegas (8/22/09)
"Nothing To Worry About"
"Living Thing"
"Don't Move Me"
"Lay It Down"
"Young Folks"
"Object of My Affection"

Depeche Mode

I don't think I have read a bad review about Depeche Mode throughout their whole "Tour of The Universe". The only people angry are those who had their shows canceled (San Francisco and San Diego). Having witnessed 4 shows, I would have to say Las Vegas was the best. I was originally scheduled to photograph this show and encountered a mix-up but luckily my good friend Capital M came through with the pictures.

I was bummed that I couldn't be up front with my friends but it was nice knowing I didn't have to worry about getting pictures and that I could grab a drink and enjoy the show from the floor. The Pearl theater at the Palms was absolutely dialed in for a phenomenal sounding show.

"Wrong" sounded right as Dave Gahan showed no ill effects of the vocal problems that forced the cancellation of a few shows. Martin Gore (Vocals/Guitars/Synthesizers) was switching between his Gretsch and Fender guitars to hammer out the sparkling guitar notes that matched his outfit. Andrew Fletcher (Synthesizers) was stationed behind a three keyboard setup and was playing a few bars in between with clapping along.

The visuals on this tour have Anton Corbijn's trademark stamp all over it. Unfortunately, the gigantic LCD round projector ball could not fit in the Pearl. Luckily, I was close enough that I could take in performance and watch Depeche Mode in action. If you haven't attended a live Depeche Mode show, then you haven't experienced one of the top live performing bands. The magical combination of the band, songs, and performances leave little doubt why Depeche Mode still sells out numerous shows across the world.

Having a voluminous discography, Depeche Mode must struggle to please fans with "perfect" setlist. As much as I would love for them to play "Happiest Girl" from the "World In My Eyes" single, I know it will never happen. My favorite part of their setlist is the barrage of songs starting with "It's No Good" all the way to "Fly On The Windscreen". I was in synthesizer heaven.

Martin Gore has a two song break in the middle of the show that helps illustrate why Martin could very well carry on his own band with gorgeous renditions of "Jezebel" and emotionally revealing "Question of Lust". I especially admire the fact that Dave always comes back on stage to re-introduce "MR. MARTIN GORE!" as a tip of the cap to remind the audience how vital Martin is to Depeche Mode.

It seemed like they have been only playing for a few minutes when they leave the stage after a rousing version of "Never Let Me Down Again" . I was ecstatic that they played "Strangelove" to close out their first encore as they did not play this song during the other three nights. Depeche Mode closed the evening with a rambling bluesy "Personal Jesus" that left the crowd buzzing as we emptied into the Palms Casino. This show will make it into the top 5 shows of 2009.

Depeche Mode setlist at the Pearl Theater in Las Vegas (8/22/09)
"In Chains"
"Hole To Feed"
"Walking In My Shoes"
"It's No Good"
"A Question Of Time"
"Fly On The Windscreen"
"A Question Of Lust"
"Miles Away / The Truth Is"
"Policy Of Truth"
"In Your Room"
"I Feel You"
"Enjoy The Silence"
"Never Let Me Down Again"

Encore #1
"Shake The Disease"

Encore #2
"Personal Jesus"

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Peter Morén at the Hotel Cafe

Peter, Bjorn and John played all over the world touring for their album "Writer's Block". I caught a few of those shows at House of Blues San Diego, Wiltern, Henry Fonda and a memorable acoustic set at Fingerprints records. Peter Morén managed to find some time between touring to make a solo record "The Last Tycoon" that will be soon released on Quarterstick records.

Big Search

Big Search opened the evening with their tender acoustic ballads. Big Search is fronted by Matt Popieluch whom you may recognize from Foreign Born. I covered Foreign born a few times when I saw them at Little Radio and the Troubadour. Matt also joined Cass Mccombs when they toured with Peter, Bjorn and John. Matt effortlessly worked through some intriguing indie folkish material with his trademark Martin guitar. I was impressed with Matt's set and was unable to find any merchandise to buy but recommend you drop by their Myspace page for a listen. I will be catching Matt with Foreign Born in a few weeks when they open for St. Vincent.

Peter Morén

Peter Morén took the tiny Hotel Cafe stage by himself before breaking into song. It was interesting to note Bjorn and John were seated at a table close by cheering their bandmate on. Peter looked extremely comfortable and was his usual affable self as he described the background of a few of his songs in a VH1's storytellers format. "Twisted" was a fine example of Peter's songwriting abilities as he carefully carved out a miniature story. Peter was later joined by a string trio to provide a cinematic effect to the songs."Reel To Real" showcased Peter's guitar playing skills as he spun another story worthy of being on a major motion picture soundtrack. "La Petite Coeur" was one of the many high points of the night as the crowd raptly took in Peter's performance. The soaring strings behind the song combined nicely with Peter's mixture of singing in French and English. Peter would later grab his 1972 custom Fender Telecaster that he proudly mentioned he purchased at Guitar Center. I had suspected that Bjorn and John might have jumped up on stage to perform a song, but in the end it was truly Peter's time to shine.

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"

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Peter, Bjorn & John at the House of Blues San Diego

Peter, Bjorn & John have been touring incessantly in support of their magnificent third album "Writer's Block". In the past week two weeks, they played Berlin, Japan and Los Angeles. I am sure they were excited to wake up in the same time zone and make a short trip down to San Diego. They seemed to have even more energy turning the House of Blues into the House of Rock.

Cass Mccombs opened the show playing his handful of indie folk songs augmented by Matt Popieluch(Vocalist of Foreign Born). The crowd had not fully filled the room yet but those in the audience were nodding their head in agreement.

The curtains at the House of Blues were drawn back and the aptly named "Peter, Bjorn, & John Backdrop" hung from the rafters as the sitar version of "Young Folks" ended. The rock show had begun as Peter kicked into high gear with "Let's Call It Off". The House of Blues was at max capacity and dancing along as they unfurled "The Chills". Peter quickly discarded his suit jacket in order to enhance all of his rock moves. Peter was switching between his Burns London guitar and his Fender Telecaster amplified by a Vox AC30. Peter also showed off his harmonica skills during "Paris 2004" . Although Boom Bip did not make the excursion down to San Diego, Gena Olivier of Midnight Movies stepped again out for "Young Folks". If you have seen the new Levi's commercial with the building coming through the floor, the background music is Peter,Bjorn and John's "Up Against Wall" . They closed their set with the extended feedback version of "Up Against The Wall" and proceeded to jetset to another destination in route to conquer the massses at Lollapalooza. I advise you to pick up tickets for their show at the Wiltern on Sept 17th before they start to play even larger arenas.

Peter, Bjorn & John setlist for the House of Blues San Diego (8/1/07)
"Let's Call It Off"
"The Chills"
"Start To Melt"
"Big Black Coffin"
"Paris 2004"
"Young Folks" with Gena from Midnight Movies
"Teen Love"
"Objects Of My Affection"
"Roll The Credits"
"Up Against The Wall"

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Peter, Bjorn & John at the Henry Fonda Theatre

Peter, Bjorn & John were one of the other top acts at the KROQ Weenie Roast this year playing a vibrant mid day set with a guest spot from Victoria Bergsman from the Concretes. I was displeased with the KROQ crowd for chanting for "play the whistle song". I know most of my readers know, but to clarify for those non readers "Whistle Song" is "Young Folks". The song has been ubiquitous yet performed live, it magically makes you smile.

If I didn't take the picture of the marquee before the show, I would have thought Foreign Born was onstage as I spotted Matt Popieluch(Vocalist of Foreign Born) on stage as a member of the band for Cass Mccombs. Cass Mccombs is a singer songwriter on the 4AD label who performs wistful sun drenched pop songs. I particularily enjoyed the Fender Jaguar breezy guitar lines that carried his tunes. Cass Mccombs is currently working on a new album.

The droney sitar instrumental version of "Young Folks" filled the Henry Fonda theatre and the buzz started to build as Peter, Bjorn & John came onstage to a rapturous appaluse. They kicked off their set with "Let's Call It Off" from their third album "Writer's Block". Peter was dancing along and strumming his Burns Guitar as he flawlessly strummed along. After the first song, I noticed the band was in top playing shape and exuded a greater confidence since the last time I saw them. Bjorn seemed more confident as well when he stepped up to the mic to sing a stunning version of "Amsterdam". "Paris 2004" was fantastic with the opening samples replicated live on a electronic drum stand. "Teen Love" is one of my favorite tunes from their second album "Falling Out" and was performed with a punk like urgency. Bjorn was playing a nice Hagstrom Bass that had an excellent bite giving the songs an extra edge. The overall sound mix was one of the best that I have heard at the Henry Fonda Theatre. Boom Bip manned the bongos and Gena Olivera from Midnight Movies came out to do a wonderfully received version of "Young Folks". The night was capped with my all time favorite (so far) Peter, Bjorn & John song "Up Against The Wall" which was a seven minute epic barnburner that had Peter rubbing his guitar against the mic stand to add some feedback to the ending of the song. At the end of the show, I was relieved that I had a ticket for the next night in San Diego.

Peter, Bjorn & John Setlist for the Henry Fonda Theatre (7/31/07)

"Let's Call It Off"
"The Chills"
"Start To Melt"
"Big Black Coffin"
"Paris 2004"
"Young Folks" with Gena from Midnight Movies and Boom Bip on bongos
"Teen Love"
"Objects Of My Affection"
"Roll The Credits"
"Up Against The Wall"

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

KROQ Weenie Roast at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

If it wasn't for Kevin & Bean, I probably would never listen to KROQ. I would rather listen to my ipod or KROQ still has enough pull to amass a strong lineup for their annual Weenie Roast summer show.

I was lucky enough to secure a seat for the show and decided not to push my luck in sneaking a camera into the venue. My seat was far enough that I couldn't get good pictures anyways.

Plain White T's opened the sidestage festivities. The kids seem to have liked them. I wasn't that impressed.

I was honestly surprised Peter, Bjorn & John even made it on this bill. I can't tell you if KROQ even plays them but I was excited that they were there. I was also the only person singing along to all the songs. I wasn't surprised when I started to hear people yelling, "Play the whistle song!". Peter was dancing around the stage and giving it his all to win over the crowd. Peter had a capo on the 2nd fret as he rocked the harmonica during "Paris 2004". I was surprised again when Victoria Bergsman came out to sing "Young Folks". They played over their 30 minute allotted set time by about 10 minutes to my delight.

Peter, Bjorn & John setlist
"Let's Call It Off"
"The Chills"
"Start To Melt"
"Paris 2004"
"Young Folks" with Victoria Bergsman from the Concretes
"Objects of My Affection"
"Up Against The Wall"

Silversun Pickups were next and even fuzz maestro Brian Aubert(Guitars/Vocals) commented about how good the Peter, Bjorn & John set was. The sound was muddy for the beginning of the Silversun Pickups set but cleared up after a few songs. They played selections from "Carnavas" which included two of my favorite songs "Dream at Tempo 119" and "Common Reactor". They have been touring behind "Carnavas" for quite some time and I will be anxiously awaiting their next release.

Tim Armstrong and 20 people closed up the side stage. I liked Rancid back in the day. "And Out Come of The Wolves" was a really good album. It was not much of a solo show as he brought out Rancid guitarist Lars Fredericksen for "Ruby Soho" and "Time Bomb". I did pick up his solo album but still haven't had enough time to give a proper spin.

Tiger Army opened the main stage with their rockabily punk. I know they opened up a ton of shows for Morrissey a few years ago. I have to give credit to Jeff Roffredo for his excellent stand-Up bass skills. Their new album "Music From Regions Beyond" comes out June 5th.

Rise Against came out with their fiery political punk rock. They were on Fat Wreck Chords back in the day which boosts their stock in my book. I was impressed with Tim McIlrath's vocals. He really did a great job belting out the lyrics as well playing his white Gibson Les Paul. I haven't listened to much punk lately but I got a renewed enthusiasm after seeing them play. I will see them again when they play with Lagwagon and Strung Out at the Long Beach Arena. Both Lagwagon and Strung Out were two of my favorite punk bands back in the day.

The opening synth line of "Swollen Summer" cranked out and the Bravery got the crowd rocking. They did a great job of alternating new songs and old songs. Their new album "The Sun and The Moon" just came out and sounds excellent. Even though the new album doesn't feature as many synth lines as the first, I think they will do well with this album. John Conway still had his Virus synth and a Rhodes electric piano on stage.

Bravery setlist
"Swollen Summer"
"Time Won't Let Me Go"
"An Honest Mistake"
"Every Word From Your Mouth Is A Knife In My Ear"
"Bad Sun"

Besides "Infected", I don't think I have heard a Bad Religion song on KROQ in years. Bad Religion are one of my favorite punk bands. Their hyper literate brand of thinking man punk rock is extremely catchy. I was fortunate enough to interview Brian Baker(Minor Threat,Dag Nasty,Junkyard) back in the day during the "Grey Race" tour. Did you know Brian Baker was going to be the touring guitarist for REM before he got the offer for Bad Religion? I may have to republish that interview when I get a chance. Some songs they played were "American Jesus", "21st Century Digital Boy", "Infected" and "Struck A Nerve". I was not to familar with the new songs but I will check out their new album when it comes out.

Queens of the Stone Age stole the show in my opinion. I always appreciated the heavy riffs of Kyuss and automatically liked Queens of the Stone Age when they came out. I used to see them all the time at the Troubadour. Josh Homme(Guitars/Vocals) has worked on his singing and has improved with each album. Their new song "Sick, Sick, Sick" is stunning with an impressive breakdown riff. In a few degrees of separation, Troy Van Leeuwen used to be the touring guitarist of Failure. I gave Josh huge points for incorporating song lyrics of "I Want A New Drug" by Huey Lewis & The News into "Feel Good Hit of the Summer". Their new album Era Vulgaris should be out soon. They will be at the Orange County Fair bringing the rock to the O.C.

Queens of the Stone Age Setlist
"Feel Good Hit Of The Summer"
"No One Knows"
"3's & 7's"
"In My Head"
"Little Sister"
"The Lost Art of Keeping Secret"
"Sick, Sick, Sick"
"Go With The Flow"
"Song For The Dead"

The sun had not fully set for Interpol. It is difficult to enjoy Interpol's moody atmospheric music in the mid evening. They still managed to pull off a good set that unfortunately ended with a blown guitar amp during the apex of "PDA". I still am very impressed with "The Heinrich Maneuver" and its angular guitar lines. When You see Interpol live, one can detect a greater sense of urgency and desperation in the performance of their songs. I am really looking forward to the new album.

Interpol Setlist
"Obstacle 1"
"Slow Hands"
"The Heinrich Maneuver"

Social Distortion provided another cornerstone in the history of punk rock as Mike Ness(Guitars/Vocals) and the boys cranked out some classic tunes. Mike Ness was center stage with his Gibson Les Paul Gold top singing in top form with his trademark graveley voice. Social Distortion is coming out with a greatest hits album soon which I highly recommend if you are unfamiliar with their work. If you want to be super cool, watch the documentary "Another State of Mind" which features the early years of Social Distortion, Youth Brigade, and Minor Threat.

Social Distortion Setlist
"Reach For The Sky"
"Prison Bound"
"Under My Thumb"
"Bad Luck"
"Mommy's Little Monster"
"Ball and Chain"
"Far Behind"
"Story of My Life"
"Ring of Fire"

The Killers were a no show due to Brandon Flower's bronchitis. I recommend a course of Levaquin 500mg once a day for 10 days.

I am a fan of the first two Korn albums but feel that some of their later work has not been up to par. They are pioneers of the seven string guitar and charted some new territory when they came out. I thought they were copying Slipknot when I saw two extra percussionists on stage but then realized the joke was on me when I spotted Joey Jordinson of Slipknot filling in for David Silveria on drums. I was pleasantly surprised how tight their performance was. They also had Clint Lowery(ex-Sevendust) on back up guitar. They played all of their heavy and fast songs which made time go by really quick. Some highlights from their set included "Good God", "Blind" and "Coming Undone".

Linkin Park closed out the night with selections from Meteora and Hybrid Theory. Joseph Hahn (DJ/Turntables) had about 10 M-Audio Trigger fingers mounted on a stand that he used maybe once. Mike Shinoda(Guitars/Vocals) showed off his toughness when he played a Pink Hello Kitty Fender Squier Stratocaster on stage. I still haven't listened to much of their new album "Minutes to Midnight" but I will check it out later. The old hits sounded good such as "Breaking The Habit", "Crawling", "One Step Closer", and "Numb". They shamelessly plugged their Project Revolution Tour that doesn't sound too interesting except they managed to get Placebo on the bill.

Overall, It is tough to beat 12 hours of music but I don't know how my friend ended up going to the 91x Fest the next day because I was exhausted.