Peter Bjorn and John
Venue: Neumo's
Date: May 13, 2007
What: Late show.
Live Audio: 
Click here to listen to the band's performance of "Paris



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Peter Bjorn and John at Neumo's

Peter Bjorn and John
Venue: Neumo's
Date: May 13, 2007
What: Late show.
Live Audio: 
Click here to listen to the band's performance of "Paris 2004," last night at Neumo's.
Click here for "Poor Cow."

"It's nice to be back," said Peter Morén, guitarist, vocalist and harmonica player of Peter Bjorn & John. "We were just here a few hours ago," he joked. "Same venue. But different people, and that's important."

After the vamp music (a sitar heard overhead, a melody that had the tightly-packed crowd huddled and asking, "is that Young Folks?" No, it was "Sitar Folks."), PB&J took the stage to play "Roll the Credits." The next song from their breakout third album, Writer's Block, "Let's Call It Off," showcased what I love about seeing bands whose sound depends largely on the songwriting itself, rather than layers of instrumentation or pyrotechnic production. The songs were richer live, a fact no doubt buoyed by P&B's loveable personalities, affable, English-is-definitely-their-second-language banter and versatile talents.
If there's a more likeable, fun-loving catchy album than Writer's Block, I haven't heard it. And PB&J's live show played testament to that, boundinc through ."The Chills" and "Tailormade," from their 2005 release, Falling Out.

"I am not the best singer, but this is a song we wrote. Just some music and lyrics," said bassist Björn Yttling before launching into a stripped-down version of "Amsterdam." (A song that sounded nearly identical to the version they played at the earlier set, broadcast by KEXP.)

And for those wondering about the dancing-while-whistling bit, Peter did the unthinkable by making whistling while bouncing and shaking a percussive instrument look not only cool, but necessary. The trio enlisted the help of Meg, a local bongo player extraordinaire, for "Young Folks," who gleefully danced onstage during her breaks from playing bongo. (And also took more than her share of time bowing and hugging the members at the end of the song--though, with Peter and Bjorn being two of the most loveable people on earth, I can hardly blame her.)

A 10-minute, spine-tingling, balls-out rendition of "Up Against the Wall," ended the main set, an outstretched version of the song that could easily have gone on for hours.  Feedback and the ongoing, never-ending drone of their amps, lingering long after the trio stepped offstage, signaled a good portion of the audience to leave.
Those who left missed a few songs--yes, the show ended after 1 a.m.--including "Poor Cow," "Collect, Select, Reflect," and a cover of The Concrete's song "Teen Love," about which, Bjorn said, "They did it first. But we did it second."
"And we did it better," added Peter. And they did.

 
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