Peter Bjorn and John, the Swedish pop trio with a whistle-inducing hit "Young Folks," charmed an enthusiastic and welcoming crowd Sunday...
Peter Bjorn and John, the Swedish pop trio with a whistle-inducing hit “Young Folks,” charmed an enthusiastic and welcoming crowd Sunday afternoon even before taking the stage at Neumos.
As the sound system played the sitar-drenched remix “Sitar Folks,” the audience could already be heard humming and whistling along to what could be the catchiest song of the year.
The stripped-down trio’s approach is “less is more,” typified by “Young Folks,” from the band’s 2006 release “Writers Block.” All three members handle vocal duties, with Peter Morén on guitar, Björn Yttling on bass and John Eriksson on drums.
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Peter Bjorn and John, Sunday, Neumos
Even with Sunday’s early start — the sun was still out — the band played to a warm and supportive audience. Well-rehearsed and polished from a tour-heavy year, Yttling and Eriksson often joked between songs and showed general and honest enthusiasm. The packed house was clapping and singing along throughout the set.
Although much hype has been centered around “Young Folks,” the band played a well-paced set that flawlessly showcased most of “Writer’s Block.” The trio played 10 tunes from the album, showcasing upbeat numbers such as “Objects of My Affection” and “Let’s Call It Off,” mixing it up with stripped-down and somber versions of “Paris 2004” and “The Chills.”
“Objects of My Affection” could easily be the sleeper hit of the summer. The audience joined in: “I laugh more often now, I cry more often now, I am more me.”
Close to the end of the set the band brought a fan on stage to play the bongos. Her overzealous dancing and insistence on planting kisses on the band caused Yttling to stop the song midway, hysterically laughing. But the band launched right back into it with her, energizing an already adoring crowd even more.
If that blend of adoration and enthusiasm is any indication, Peter Bjorn and John have stumbled on a winning formula.
Sunday’s early, standing-room only show at Neumos was one of three the band played that day, two at Neumos and one at an invite-only show at the Triple Door, part of KEXP’s “500 Club” patron program. That’s quite a feat for a band whose first two albums weren’t even released in the States and whose biggest hit has just reached mainstream radio.
Brooklyn’s Ill Ease, the one-woman band of Elizabeth Sharp, opened the show, playing live drums over looped bass and guitar parts, mixing danceable post-punk with a goofy stage presence.
Jeff Albertson: 206-464-2304 or firstname.lastname@example.org