Everyone held their breath. In the pitch black of the Music Farm, long bands of LED lights, whose configuration mimicked that of a musical staff mixed with the jagged hills of a heart monitor, stretched across the back of the stage. The display flashed white light, illuminating the silhouettes of the band as they entered to the sounds of haunting electronic music. At the sight of Peter, Bjorn, and John, everyone let go of their breath and began to scream.
First, I must commend the wonderful openers. Local musician Billie Fountain had the pleasure of starting the night. Adorned in the coolest of funky outfits, this electronic band set a pleasant mood with their melodic synth pop. Billie Fountain can best be described as a synthetic angel with infectious dance moves. Fellow attendees of local shows are likely to recognize their songs “Teach Me” and “Devil in My Head.” The next band, City of the Sun from NYC, took me by surprise. The sitting trio, with two acoustic guitars and a cajón, did not spark much interest at first, especially at a concert with two indie electronic rock bands. However, I can say without a doubt that they were the most impressive instrumental band I’ve ever heard. The lead guitar took the place of a lead singer, and effects pedals kept the sounds interesting. Even whilst sitting at the beginning of the set, they kept their bodies active and energy high with astounding dynamics. I believe even the typical listener, who is turned off by music without lyrics, would enjoy their performance.
While the opening bands had great spirit, Peter, Bjorn, and John could not be beat. Right off the bat, lead singer Peter took the center of the stage to dance and jump about. His movements reminded me of a slightly toned down version of Mark Foster of Foster the People, who is famous for his heightened and spastic movements. The Swedish band adds their own twist to indie electronic rock music by lacing in new wave, ‘60s baroque pop, and power pop. The majority of what they played was of course from their newest album Breakin’ Point, but they made sure to not leave out older favorites, like “Second Chance” and “Dig a Little Deeper.” PB&J made it clear they knew how to rock out and inspire some head-banging with an extended lively guitar solo during “Lies.” Probably the most exciting moment for the crowd was when Peter stepped down into the crowd to dance and sing the chorus of “It Don’t Move Me.” While everyone else was staring at each other in disbelief, I couldn’t resist following him wherever he went. He still managed to save plenty of thrill for the encore, which is when they played three more songs including their decade-old hit “Young Folks.” This tour was a great one to catch because it was the first time they added two extra members to their line-up and got to sing the song as the duet it is. They kept their stamina until the very end: Peter left the stage while continuously tossing up and catching his gorgeous telecaster.
The night as a whole was incredible and perfect if you’re like me. It was fun and empowering, but not overwhelming. The crowd was hyped but well-behaved, and a positive energy flowed continuously between the bands and the audience.
Written by Katie Beals