Written by Olivia Oriaku, Photos by Sophie Cannon
People of all different ages, from excited teenagers to devoted adults, gathered in the intimate Brighton Music Hall on Nov. 29, to watch indie pop/rock band Peter Bjorn and John perform as part of their “Darker Days” tour. The band, which consists of frontman Peter Morén on vocals and guitar, Björn Yttling on vocals and bass guitar, and John Eriksson on drums, percussions, and supporting vocals, rocked the stage, connecting with audience members in a high-energy set.
Photo by Sophie Cannon
Peter Bjorn and John stepped out in front of the audience, and were immediately greeted with powerful applause. Throughout the set, Morén frequently switched out his guitars, simultaneously playing the harmonica during various numbers. The band kicked off their set with “Let’s Call It Off,” a song off of their 2006 album “Writer’s Block.” Jumping up and down and playing his guitar just feet away from fans, Morén set the tone for what was to be a vigorous act to come. Peter Bjorn and John quickly transitioned into “A Long Goodbye,” a song from their 2016 album “Breakin’ Point,” before announcing the next song on their setlist, “Far Away, By My Side,” an older track off their 2004 album “Falling Out,” in which the group said they hadn’t played in years.
Next, Peter Bjorn and John played songs off their 2018 album “Darker Days,” the namesake of the tour. Fans danced and clapped along with the band during “Gut Feeling,” and “Living a Dream,” before Morén said, “I’m really grateful to be coming to Boston to perform year after year, and I’m definitely living the dream.” Peter Bjorn and John slowed it down with “Amsterdam,” as pink and blue stage lights cast deep colors across the crowd, illuminating their rhythmic swaying.
During “One for the Team,” a song off of the band’s new album, which they claimed was written for “all the good people in the world,” crowd members waved their arms and sang in unison, eventually stopping when all the instruments dropped out and Morén’s vocals were showcased in an intimate solo. A quick transition later and Peter Bjorn and John were rocking out to “Dig A Little Deeper,” a song off their 2011 album “Gimme Some,” in which fans jumped up and down in sync with Morén’s hand movements. In possibly the most energetic performance of the night, Morén lept into the crowd, mic and guitar in hand, and passionately played on, ending on on his back on the floor, as fans surrounded him, chanting along, before lifting him back onto the stage.
Photos by Sophie Cannon
Toward the end of their set, the band shifted from upbeat, indie-pop to heavy, guitar based rock and roll, performing songs such as “Lies,” and “Down Like Me,” off of “Gimme Some.” It was during this part of the show that fans saw long, dynamic, and fast paced guitar solos from both Morén and Yttling, which seemed to ring off of the venue’s walls, sending audience members into a frenzy. At the close of “Down Like Me,” Morén held out the chord clash created by his electric guitar; the sound slowly growing quieter and sharper as he exited the stage.
Fans screamed for an encore, and to their delight, Peter Bjorn and John re-entered the stage and went straight into playing “Breakin’ Point,” in which the band softly whistled in perfect harmony. As soon as the fast drum beat of the crowd-favorite “Young Folks” was heard, everyone in the venue broke out into melodic whistling and snapping. The band ended with some of their most popular songs, “Up Against the Wall” and “Second Chance,” where Morén was featured in another passionate guitar solo, sliding his guitar up and down the mic stand to create a dissonant chord clash, and eventually jumping back into the crowd one last time, singing directly to audience members. Without a doubt, this indie band, whose sound has elements of Baroque-pop and heavy rock and roll, brought down the house in a lively, show-stopping performance that fans will have a hard time forgetting.
Photos by Sophie Cannon
Before the headlining act performed, Australian indie-pop musician Georgina Kingsley, known by her stage name Georgi Kay, warmed up the audience. She played a variety of tracks off of her recently released 2018 album “Where I Go to Disappear,” including “Toxins,” “The Outside,” “Guilty Pleasures,” and “American Psycho.” During her performance, Kingsley played on a loop recorder, brilliantly building chord structures and synthesized beats from the ground up in front of the audience’s eyes. Her misty vocals and impeccable rhythm left the crowd admiring her original songs and beats, which she wrote and produced by herself in her bedroom. Kingsley’s music wasn’t the only thing the crowd found compelling—the awkward but funny jokes she cracked in between song changes made people fall in love with her even more. In the middle of her set, an audience member shouted out, asking if she could hang out with him and his friends after the show, and she agreed. She ended by saying, “thank you for coming out early to watch me play, and thank you for making my first Boston show very special,” before exiting the stage.