Peter, Bjorn & John at Bimbo’s, 5/16

Caught PB & J at the venerable Bimbo’s last night. The evening got underway over at Kennedy’s, where my partner in crime for the evening, Catherine, and I enjoyed the cheap beer and people watching (there was a rather intense game of beer pong going on right inside the door and the lights at the pool table were so bright as to make you think you were playing outfield at a night game in the Phone Booth). The bar at Kennedy’s has been remodeled, so where the jukebox once stood, the bar now extends and, behind it on a ledge, were a collection of hookahs and stacked on the floor beneath sat an odd array of cowboy hats (at least one of which was pink). The hookahs I get, the cowboy hats, not so much, since Kennedy’s bills itself as an Irish Bar and Indian Curry House.

The doors for the show opened at 7, but PB & J were not coming on until after 10. Thankfully, we missed most of the first act while at Kennedy’s, so we ended up passing the time in the lounge at Bimbo’s watching the depleted Suns (that’s bullshit, David Stern, by the way) lose a close one to the Spurs.

As expected, the crowd contained a multitude of hipsters (both foreign and domestic) and the vibe was mellow, but good. PB & J hit the stage to much applause and immediately launched into “Roll the Credits”. The third song in, if I recall correctly, was “The Chills” and Peter announced that they were going to do it with “a different beat”. They did and it was a great…the song morphed from the industrial drum machine driven version on the album into a slinky come on, with Peter channeling Prince as he purred out the lyrics with Bjorn adding the “shh-shh-shh” for effect.

Bjorn provided the vox on “Amsterdam”, which was performed as an acoustic duo with Peter on guitar. Very well done, as was “Paris 2004”, with Peter on harmonica (Peter remarked after the song was over that, “It can’t be cheesy if it’s true”, alluding to the lovey dovey nature of the lyrics).

Towards the end of the set came spirited renditions of “Objects of My Affection” (watch those Swedes jump around!), and, of course, the big one, “Young Folks” (with the band’s manager taking over the bongo duties and Peter singing both his part and Victoria Bergsman’s (and running around the stage brandishing something that looked like a martini shaker).

The set closed out with my favorite song from “Writer’s Block”, “Up Against the Wall”. With Peter exhorting people to dance, the band charged in and really dug into it, building to a careening crescendo of guitars and propulsive drumming.

A great evening with a truly fun band.

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~ by uvasig on May 17, 2007.

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