review: peter bjorn and john and chairlift @ webster hall
  • FRIDAY, MAY 01, 2009

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First time contributor Allie Miller crammed into NYC's Webster Hall a few nights back, taking in sets from Luke Top, Chairlift, and Peter Bjorn and John in the process. She filed the following report:

Whenever I hear someone refer to Peter Bjorn and John as the band that had the first song ever on Gossip Girl, a part of my soul dies. People, if this continues, I will surely be dead by the end of Peter Bjorn and John's tour. They are so brilliant and should not be referred to in that manner unless there is a Jeopardy question on the topic. And now that it's cleared up, we can continue to recount the magic of seeing Peter Bjorn and John at Webster Hall.

At the start of the evening, the opener was Luke Top. Luke, from California, wasn't anything special. For some reason, every concert that I've ever been to hasn't ever had a steller opener. Sorry Luke, if I wasn't there, the crowd would've adored you probably. Instead, the self-proclaimed pop meets soul sound wasn't anything unique. Actually, I could actually see his music being used for a car commercial. While performing his song Friends, I couldn't help but imagine images of Toyotas rolling across an invisible screen with a promise for 0% financing. But, it was only a dream. Before heading off, Luke plugged his EP Friends, out in June.

Next on to the dark Webster stage was Chairlift. Once again, my imagination got the best of me and I patiently waited for a Jewish boy with a yamaka to be lifted in a chair to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah. Sadly, this didn't happen. Chairlift, from Brooklyn, New York, was actually pretty good! Their mellow trance-like song Somewhere Around Here was pretty dreamy. After that song, I thought to myself 'I wonder if these guys have a record label.' It turns out, they do-with Columbia Records. After touring with Peter Bjorn and John, and later, The Killers, I'm sure Chairlift will be getting some major press for their album Does You Inspire You (released April 21st). Their other notable song in their set was Earwig Town, which reminded me of a Western shoot out mixed with a James Bond fight scene background music.

Finally, Peter Bjorn and John were on. They are very charming- with their Swedish banter in-between tracks. The Swedish may have only been known for their massages and fish, but now, they shall be known for their music, for Peter Bjorn and John are a fresh and lively band that I have seen in a long time. These are the type of guys that I'd have the greatest time grabbing a beer with. Damn those security guards from stopping me from inviting them out next Saturday! They are even awesome with a harmonica.

They opened their set with Nothing to Worry About off of their 5th, yes 5th, studio album Living Things. As I stupidly sang/schreed along the lyrics 'If you've got problems then why don't you solve them?,' I realized just how amazing they were live. This is usually a problem with bands whose sound is cultivated through technology, but with Peter Bjorn and John, I can honestly say they sound, if possible, even better live! As they continued right through with Living Thing and I Want You!, the crowd was just as quickly falling even more in love with these Swedish Sweethearts. The wittiest song off their album has to be Blue period Picasso. And how could anyone argue any differently as they sang I'm a blue period Picasso stuck on a wall in the middle of a hall in Barcelona trying to figure out how to get down.

Sadly, the set was over too soon for this Peter Bjorn and John fan, as they came to a close with their popular song Young Folks. If only everyone who saw it on Gossip Girl could have heard it live! The acoustic version was way better. And as the evening concluded, I couldn't help but smile as I realized that talented artists still existed without the help of electronics. So Peter Bjorn and John, I commence you to trek across America promoting your album, and you're crazy Swedish selves for us to behold.

Check out a Peter, Bjorn, and John concert we filmed at Webster Hall two years ago HERE. When you're done with that, head over to our Chairlift concert from the Music Hall of Williamsburg HERE.

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Peter Bjorn and John on Myspace
Chairlift on Myspace

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