Peter Bjorn and John
and Work Drugs
Sept 10th, 2011
With their three previous concerts cancelled due to drummer John Eriksson’s shoulder injury, Peter Bjorn and John headlined the Trocadero last weekend with Philadelphia natives Work Drugs and Toronto based ambient rockers Memoryhouse.
Opening for PB&J was the band Work Drugs, who have gone from relative unknowns to one of the most talked about bands in the Tri-State area over the past few months. Work Drugs has been enjoying regular airplay on Philly’s WXPN and WHYY while recently coming off a virtually sold out tour with Indie superstars Two Door Cinema Club. Although the crowd was a little late in arriving, there were a number of Work Drug fans in the audience along with an attentive Peter Moren (of PB&J) who watched from the back of the venue. Although Work Drugs was the opening band, they were definitely worth the price of admission and probably should have played a little higher on the marquee this particular night (see below). You can follow Work Drugs here, and here.
Following Work Drugs, was Toronto’s Memoryhouse. With Work Drugs playing a very upbeat and danceable brand of bass driven synth-pop, it was a little hard to digest Memoryhouse’s performance. Frankly speaking, I found Memoryhouse to be flat and boring to watch. They had a very low key presence, and a set of music with little range outside of being slow and moody. Although they are a solid group of young musicians, Memoryhouse may have been better served on this particular night to be the opening band rather than the precursor to Peter Bjorn and John. Maybe this was just an off night for Memoryhouse, so please don’t let my opinions from one performance fully jade your impressions of this group. Check them out here and here for a plethora of downloads and music videos.
Coming off of their recent release of Gimme Some, Peter Bjorn and John played an excellent mix of material representing both new and old songs (mostly new), including the band’s 2007 staple “Young Folks” minus Victoria Bergsman. With three consecutive cancellations prior to Peter Bjorn and John’s performance in Philadelphia, there was zero evidence that John Eriksson had a painful and debilitating shoulder injury. Perhaps the extra days of rest was a good thing for the Swede rockers, as PB&J brought an electric energy to the Trocadero’s late arriving crowd. With a perfectly timed set of 9 songs, Peter Bjorn and John somewhat pushed the envelope with a 4 song encore, but I doubt anyone paid much mind. Unlike their reverby infused hit songs that most people are familiar with, Peter Bjorn and John brought an almost arena rock presence to the stage, reminding me more of a 70’s classic rock band than your a-typical modern day indie group. You can follow Peter Bjorn and John on their Gimme Some blog, or catch them on tour at any of the following dates. Hopefully John Eriksson’s shoulder will hold up.