No New Tricks Needed: Peter Bjorn and John Tour Darker Days Album


By: Rachel Berger-Viflanzoff

Photo Credit: Olivia Anderson-Clarke

A Tuesday night isn’t exactly prime time for an evening concert, but you wouldn’t know that by looking around the Velvet Underground last week. Long time fans had made the trek out, despite weekday commitments and the chilly December weather, to see the popular indie rock band Peter Bjorn and John. Before the main act came on, the audience was treated to a selection of songs by the opener Talos. Their first song “Odyssey” was a bittersweet song based on the tale of Odysseus; its lyrics did a great job of showcasing lead singer Eoin French’s clear, flowing voice. Talos then played one of their newer songs “See Me” which elicited applause from the audience. Next was one of the more aggressive songs in their setlist: the innocuously named “Kansas”. This song even had the band, who were crowded in by their bevvy of instruments, headbanging along with the beat. Talos finished with “Your Love is an Island”, and a humble thank you to the crowd.

If Talos are the shy but talented new kids on the block, then Peter Bjorn and John are the proverbial old guard, blasted into fame by the popularity of their 2006 hit “Young Folks”. The moment they stepped (or more accurately, sprinted) onto the stage, the room filled with energy and cheers. Peter Bjorn and John started off with two of their older songs: “Let’s Call It Off” and “Far Away, By My Side”. Even in these opening numbers, Peter Moren, the guitarist and lead vocalist, showcased the exuberant energy and stage presence that he’s known for, doing jumps and kicks, and running to the very cusp of the stage to sing right to the audience. Moren filled the breaks in between songs with friendly chatter with the audience, many of whom revealed themselves to be long time supporters. Towards the end of the show, he even climbed off the stage to dance amongst his fans.

In between the classics, Peter Bjorn and John were sure to give the audience a taste of their new album, Darker Days, which dropped in late October. They played “Gut Feeling”, which despite its steady beat, was almost drowned out at times by the crowd’s enthusiastic shouts. They also played “Living a Dream”, which prompted Moren to comment on how thankful he is to be able to live out his own dream of performing, as well as “Wrapped around the Axel”, and “One for the Team”. It wasn’t until the encore that we finally got to hear “Young Folks”, but it made for a wonderful end to the night.

Peter Bjorn and John’s concert was a great mix of the old and the new. I’m glad to see that the band has continued making music that they’re proud of, and that their fans have stuck with them throughout their 12 years of major fame.

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