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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Peter, Bjorn & John, 10/05 @ El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles

Peter Bjorn & John seem to have single-handedly created a Swedish musical invasion, with their "All You Can Eat" tour, in support of their latest album Gimme Some. After taking over New York, the band continued on their cross-country journey to Los Angeles; with four sold-out LA concerts at different venues, an art opening, and a food truck event. Peter, Bjorn & John succeeded in garnering countless new devotees - in a big way. Culminating their week-long stay in the city of angels, was their concert at The El Rey Theatre. This visit looks like it's cementing the band Sweden's most visible export --- move over Ikea, Volvo, & Abba.

Illuminated in the projected light of the Swedish flag; Peter Bjorn & John, launched their set with the epic anthem-esque sounding "Tomorrow has to Wait," and followed up with a myriad of equally catchy tunes from their latest album Gimme Some, as well as previous releases: Writer's Block and Living Thing, all the way back to the early 00's. The band for those who aren't entirely familiar yet is composed of Peter Morén on vocals & guitar; Björn Yttling on vocals & bass; and John Eriksson on drums & vocals.

Further into the set, when the trio went into "Eyes" from the new album. With it's 50's-esque memorable guitar riffs, they had the audience dancing and bouncing all over the place.  Peter did his best Euro-Elvis guitar playing/singing/jumping/shaking, while Bjorn played it more cool and collected - right out out of a Wes Anderson movie (ala Richie Tenenbaum w/beard), and John just seemed incredibly bubbly - more-so than most drummers not furry and on the Muppets.

With full visual accompaniment of random and amusing projector-art behind the band & a crazy looking bearded guy at the left back of the stage with giant three-thumbed blue hands, the band was quirky but very cool. One interesting thing about seeing the boys from Stockholm, having only limited knowledge of them before (yes, the whistling song); It was intriguing that their repertoire had so many nuances and different parts of it's personality. Flowing from one infectiously upbeat indie-tune to another; the band's sojourn in Los Angeles served as a kind of indie-pop musical-trinity, seeking converts. They hit the streets, setting the city's music enthusiast's feet to tapping.

Highlights of the show included the mellow/quirky tune "Amsterdam," the amusingly sarcastic "Lay it Down" from Living Thing, and the ubiquitously catchy whistling song "Young Folks." The last of which, Peter proceeded to jump down while whistling/singing and venture far into the audience - dancing and connecting with their new converts as well as long-time fans. While cheeky at points and rockin' at others, the Swedish trio's tunes and odd-antics made the band real crowd pleasers! In short, they're well worth checking out live, as well as giving a listed to their latest album: Gimme Some...

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