Peter Bjorn and John | 08.07.07

pbj01Although the set was short, everything was quality.






 Photo: Todd Owyoung

The Pageant, St. Louis

Playback helped heat up the summer by sponsoring a week of great concerts at The Pageant with Interpol, Polyphonic Spree, and Peter Bjorn and John. I looked most forward to PB&J and was curious to see the turnout, the approach of "Young Folks," the crowd make-up, and most of all, the set list.

Last minute opener, the somewhat local act, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, fired out a dozen or more impressive '90s, indie-pop, nerd-rock songs that went over really well with the crowd.  The balcony was closed and the ground floor was surprisingly empty for a Pageant show.  This show would have been better suited for (now closed) Mississippi Nights; with its low ceiling and tighter stage creating a more intimate, underground feel. 

Bjorn gave St. Louis a taste of "Young Folks" (the no words, no whistling, sitar version), so fans planning to leave after they played that song had to stick it out for seven more.  The band basically played Writer's Block out of order, which was pretty lame, with the exceptions of Falling Out's "Far Away, By My Side," the combination of covers of The Concretes' "Teen Love" (from Falling Out) with The Undertones' "Teenage Kicks," and a Writer's Block B-side "(I Just Wanna) See Through." 

In the bands defense, it was a Writer's Block tour. Few people even know they have older albums (which are just as good as the new stuff), and these albums weren't for sale.

The night had a light feel that was noticeable even before the mellow openers took the stage. The crowd instantly fell in love with Bjorn when he introduced "Amsterdam" in his thick Swedish accent: "I see you have a nice street [Delmar] with all the stars and stuff, so we are going to try to make this…extra…A+."   The drummer sat this one out, which was an unusual choice considering "Amsterdam" has one of their best drumbeats, but it produced a bigger singing spotlight for Bjorn and made the duet more powerful. 

Peter busted out the harmonica to treat the fans to "Paris 2004," then Bjorn called for "all the table dancers to come down" as "Young Folks" began. Victoria Bergsman did not make a guest appearance, and there was no girl replacement. Peter sang the whole song, and a great bongo player filled in for some of the drumming.  Peter added a nice touch to the last line replacing, "talking only me and you" with "talking only me and St. Louie." The band showed more wit when introducing "Teen Love" which Peter describes, "a song by the Concretes that we do a bit better."  

Fans clapped along to nearly every song as Peter took advantage of the big stage by dancing around.  Although the set was short, everything was quality. The guitar solos were not the least bit laborious or forced, but in fact appreciated and intelligent, especially in the extended finale version of "Up Against The Wall."  | Joseph O'Fallon


Set List:

Young Folks – Sitar Version (Bjorn)

Let's Call It Off

See Through (Let's Call It Off EP)

Far Away, By My Side

The Chills

Start To Melt

Amsterdam (w/o drums)

Paris 2004

Young Folks, (no girl, with bongos)

Teen Love/Teenage Kicks (Concretes, Undertones)

Detects On My Affection


Roll the Credits

Up Against The Wall


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