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Peter Bjorn and John: far more than the hit

Brighton Music Hall, Boston, November 29, 2018

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Peter Bjorn and John could be considered a one-hit wonder with that one hit being "Young Folks" from 2012. But being a one-hit wonder ain't what it used to be in this age where having a hit isn't the be all and end all. That's a good thing for the Swedish trio because there was a lot more on the table than one song.

The group may be touring behind "Darker Days," released on the Swedish label Ingrid, but that did not mean the crowd of about 250 was in for a depressing evening.

Not with a danceable indie pop beat created by guitar, bass and drums. Playing songs from throughout their career, the emphasis was on a fast-paced, sometimes charging sound. They even through in a few lines of The Undertones' "Teenage Kicks" while playing "Teen Love." Songs like "Down Like Me," which closed the regular set sounded tougher live than on the recording.

Lead guitarist Peter Moren took control of most vocals with bassist Bjorn Yttling helping out as well. Drummer John Eriksson mainly was charged with keeping the beat going and was a steady presence.

PB and J did play the big hit in the encore, sandwiched as the second song amongst four. It still sounded fresh and a bit left of center compared to the band's other work, but this also wasn't one of those concerts where the crowd salivated in wait for the song.

Really, there was no need to. Peter Bjorn and John may not be the chart friendliest group out there, but that's okay. Old style. New style. PB and J cruise along just with works for them.

Los Angeles-by-way-of Australia singer Georgi Kay opened as a one-woman band, whose set grew on you as it continued. She proudly said she does everything live, and that meant vocals and setting bass and guitar loops as well. One suspects that a live band would show herself off even better, but Kay's presentation worked flying solo.