Peter Bjorn and John at the Magic Stick, Detroit: Top 5 Awesomes
The Peter Bjorn and John show at the Magic Stick on September 1 was so good that it moved me to write about it-something that doesn't happen often these days. For brevity's sake, a quick list of awesomes:
5. The fact that this show was actually at The Magic Stick and NOT at the Crofoot. It's boring to keep up this conversation about how much better the Crofoot is as a venue than the Majestic Complex. It's also boring to keep complaining about how much of a pain in the ass it is to drive to Pontiac for a show. With that said, this show would usually be at the Crofoot. Somehow, the Magic Stick got it, and for a Detroit musicgoer who appreciates the history of shows he's attended in that room, seeing another outstanding show at the Stick made it even better for me. And the sound mix was really good.
4. The 50-year old dude dancing to my left; 16-year-old girls dancing to my right. I knew this was an all ages show, but I didn't think they meant it literally. While there weren't any octogenarians with walkers around, I'm pretty sure that some of my fellow concertgoers could have been the grandparents of other fellow concertgoers. I found myself between a sweating, white sneakered, late 50s looking fellow, dancing widely to every song the way that 50-year-old dudes dance, and a group of 16-year-old girls, dancing the way that 16-year-olds dance (grinding, mostly). But while they were doing this, they were pretty much singing all the lyrics. True fans. After I got over being creeped out, I kind of loved it.
3. A Detroit Cab Driver came out to play bongos on "Young Folks." Apparently, the cab driver that Peter Bjorn and John had used earlier that day (more specifics in just a minute) was a drummer himself. I'm not surprised. If you've ever gone to karaoke at The Comet Bar in Detroit, you've heard how good Detroit cab drivers are at singing, since there are always some there performing after they finish work. So, they called the guy on stage, he came out with a two-drum bongo and a big smile on his face, the stagehand set up a mic, and turns out this cab driver can play one mean bongo. It was a pretty cool moment.
2. The live, non-synth ersion of "It Don't Move Me." I love this song from Living Thing, but the guitar version of the song was even more sleek than the studio version. In the below video, taken from a show in Madison, note how great the tingy Fender guitar tone sounds in the verses. This is the first time I think I really ever liked that tone. I'm hoping some videos with better sound quality hit the web soon. I LOVED this version of the song. YouTube Preview Image
1. What's with all the racquet? This is so cool. I got the show early-around 8:30. Got to the front door, got carded, got wristbanded. PBJ's tour bus was parked outside the venue. As I'm going to get a beer, I see the bus door open and Bjorn and another guy pop walk out in shorts, tennis shoes, polo shirts, and a headband on Bjorn, along with a couple of raquetball raquets, and jump into a cab that was waiting in front of the tour bus, which then speeds off, in search of a court, I'm guessing. THIS WAS 2 HOURS BEFORE THE BAND WENT ON. Seriously. Where the hell did he find a raquetball court in Detroit on a Thursday night after 8? Regardless, the fact that they went looking for one was pretty awesome on its own.