December 5, 2007

Peter, Bjorn & John at Headliners Music Hall 11.30.07

Peter, Bjorn & Johnw/ The Besnard LakesHeadliners Music HallLouisville, Ky.11.30.07A year ago, the most pretentious boy I’ve ever known showed me an animated music video that included whistling and bongos. “This song is so now,” he said. The song played on repeat for days. Then we were done.If my old friends knew that I was seeing Peter, Bjorn & John, they would forget our initial enthusiasm and snub them as old news.Putting my pretentious past behind me, I went with new friends to their Headliners show last Friday. The scene was the usual Louisville spectacle of “casually dressed up” couples with single males standing along the edges of the room. By the end of the evening, the place was so packed that the awkward special gap most people use to get to the bathroom or bar was filled in.The opener, The Besnard Lakes, a six-piece group from Canada, struck me as a sign that maybe everyone in Canada is part of a large band that plays songs that grow exceptionally loud. Live, they came off as a generic, wall-of-noise band, but I do believe that perhaps on their albums, the instruments are more defined, and the songs have more character.Watching Peter, Bjorn & John perform was fun in a playful, innocent way that only Swedish men in suits can pull off. The kind of glee I experienced made me feel that, if they had signed to a different label, they could have easily been targeting the ever-growing “tween” market. (How you would say teeny-bopper in Swedish?)As performers, they ate up the crowd’s energy, jumping about the stage. They had come an awfully long way to play from their 2006 album Writer’s Block, and a few songs from their self-titled debut and second record, Falling Out.My new friends and I had a great night. I kept most of my critiques to myself and instead of picking the band, apart I worked on my shoulder-based dance moves. The next time I speak with a snooty old friend,I’ll remember this show as an untold guilty pleasure.Contact the writer at leo@leoweekly.com