Peter Bjorn And John not only remind me of being a kid and whistling incessantly to annoy my parents, but the name also reminds me of Swedish stuff and baby papooses. Thus, watching the three-piece command absolute control of The Warfield in San Francisco in support of Writer's Block was an unexpected treat full of tight rock melodies and intense drumming. Who knew?
One of my favorite things to do is walk into a show without knowing anything about a band and seeing what happens, which is what happened with the trio with "the song." Not knowing if everything was going to sound like "Young Folks" was a slightly scary thought, for as much as I like the track I wasn't sure if I could deal with an hour of sugary pop. Singer Peter, bassist Bjorn, and drummer John not only ripped through Block but also served up old gems from a back catalog previously overlooked before this year's success. If anything, "Young Folks" helped pave a way into this history of solid, layered guitar and Peter's falsetto voice peeking behind a killer bass line.
"Paris 2004" got the mood going the romantic way, "I'm all about you/You're all about me/We're all about each other;" I know the songwriting seems elementary, but something about the way "We sleep over and we're late again/Let's skip breakfast/We need this precious time just to comprehend" is so utterly gorgeous it's easy to overlook the clean-cut approach. Simplicity is best here. "Objections Of My Affection" with its throwback to a slight '60s psychedelic rock feel also was a standout in their 80 minute set.
Suddenly it was the end of the night and the time had come for the group to retire. Confused I looked at my watch and saw that they had played for over an hour but it had felt more like 15 minutes. Two encores later, the boys departed for slumber and I left a new fan.