That’s the one word to describe a Peter, Bjorn and John show. No flash, no flare, no nonsense. Even their backdrop is simple. It’s a black cloth and in simple white Arial font stating “PETER, BJORN, AND JOHN BACKDROP.” The Swedish trio even wears simple black and white.
With that kind of a setting, it allows for the music to stand out more. Peter is pretty fun to watch on stage. Remember the character that Mike Myers played on SNL, Philip the Hyperactive kid? He used to wear headgear and a harness that would yank him back to the jungle gym when he started running away. Peter performs like he’s wearing an invisible harness with his little jumps and leg kicks. Their thick Swedish accents make for really amusing stage banter. Like the cute foreign exchange student, you just smile and nod while trying to decipher what they’re saying.
PB&J sing their hits, and for a slow song, “Amsterdam” really riled up the crowd. It was very sweet, with Bjorn singing; just a guitar, and the bass didn’t come in until the very end. It was a simple, yet tender performance that everyone was into, which is pleasant surprise because slow songs usually bore a crowd like this. When “Young Folks” came around, special guests were invited on stage; beat master Boom Bip to play the bongos and Gena Olivier of Midnight Movies to sing the girl part. The encore consisted of two songs, the last being “Up Against The Wall,” where the band went balls to the wall; flailing their bodies, getting into the crowd, and genuinely feeling their music. It ended on a solid high note, just like a good rock show should.
Photos by sikegami