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Peter Bjorn and John played at Neumos on Tuesday, May 10th, 2011.

Peter Bjorn and John

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Neumos

Tuesday nights are known

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Peter Bjorn and John Fight the Tuesday Blues at Neumos

pbandjohn.jpg
Peter Bjorn and John played at Neumos on Tuesday, May 10th, 2011.

Peter Bjorn and John

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Neumos

Tuesday nights are known all over the country for being lazy, dead business nights; look at any bar's specials and you'll see that the big guns (Steak Night! Taco Tuesday!) are sitting early in the week, trying to pull the weekend warriors out of their respective hovels to come out and play. In Seattle, Tuesday seems to be when the typical arm-crossing/stoic-staring-contest crowd is most firmly entrenched in their "can't have fun unless it's the weekend" stance, filling the room less with excitable energy and more with the grumbling sound of one giant, neverending "Meh."

Thankfully, there are anomalies to this rule, and after a sweaty, feverish run-through of hits and should-be-hits, Swedish trio Peter Bjorn and John are currently sitting high on that list of naturally unexplained phenomena.

Setting up in front of one of the sleepiest sold-out crowds that Neumos has likely ever seen, Peter Bjorn and John certainly had their work cut out for them. Following a 30-minute set of warm, droning washes of melody and by Annabel Alpers' Bachelorette project, the crowd had been worked into a bit of a hypnotic lull by Alpers' meandering explorations and the organic, flowing screensaver graphics that were projected behind her. After Bachelorette's mellow set, none of the already sedate crowd was frothing at the mouth for bouncy, riffy pop.

Peter Bjorn and John started the set with a slow burn; the shining syncopation of the Big Country-esque "May Seem Macabre" was (for them) a little subdued, giving them a chance to showcase the simple hanging light setup they had pulsing above them. Singer Peter Moren stalked the stage a bit, hamming it up to the front row of photographers during guitar solos, but it wasn't until the third song (the bouncy "Eyes") that a switch flipped, and both band and crowd alike were thoroughly engaged. When they hit the first chorus of the cowbell/cymbal clutch heavy groove of "Second Chance," the entirety of the room was sold, and the consensus changed immediately from "Eh, just another show" to that loose, scruffy vibe of a drunken house party.

One of PB&J's greatest strengths is balancing deceptively simple riffs and sincere, lovelorn sentiments ("Objects of My Affection," "I Know You Don't Love Me") with an undeniably infectious stage presence that is giddy without being corny; 12 years into a career, their legs are literally showing no signs of fatigue. During "Objects of My Affection," it was like watching fireworks go off; drummer John Eriksson seemed as if he were going to come untethered from his drum kit at any moment and run into the audience. Bassist Bjorn Yttling spent the song's explosive choruses writhing around like he was being electrocuted, and guitarist Moren spent part of the song at the front of the stage, tap-dancing and grinning like the happiest man alive. During their encore, the band reworked "Nothing to Worry About" into a harmonica-laden stomper, with Moren jumping into the audience to sing the chorus and harp about with a sea of popping flashes, and a good portion of the audience truly waving their hands in the air like they just didn't care that it was still a Tuesday.

Random Notebook Dump: When a band is selling giant, three-thumbed foam hands (of the Gimme Some album art), you're asking for some serious knucklehead-ery. A serious, sincere thank you to the guy who spent 10 bucks on one of those just to toss it toward the back of the room during the encore.

SETLIST

May Seem Macabre

It Don't Move Me

Eyes

Second Chance

Dig a Little Deeper

Black Book

Tomorrow Has to Wait

Let's Call It Off

Objects of My Affection

I Know You Don't Love Me

-Encore 1-

Nothing to Worry About

Breaker Breaker

Teen Love (Concretes Cover)

-Encore 2-

Stay This Way

Young Folks

Lies

Down Like Me

Lay It Down

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