Posted by: Cory | December 2, 2007

Peter Bjorn and John Survive Headliners Show 11/30

Peter Bjorn & John of Sweden came to visit Louisville, KY and brought one of the best shows this city has seen with them. Before I start my comments, I want to take a moment to stand up from my computer and applaud Production Simple for just one more in a series of amazing bands they’ve brought to this city this year. I feel the pace picking up and I’m excited to see what the future holds.

Swedish pop music is the best in the world right now, with acts like PB&J and Jens Lekman leading the charge, and bands like Pelle Carlberg, The Radio Dept., The Leslies, Suburban Kids with Biblical Names, Sahara Hotnights, [ingenting], and countless other to give the genre depth. Peter Bjorn & John being the second of these bands I’ve seen in the last few months, I can see now that these bands feel what they sing, and they bring it to the stage with them. Pop music has a certain light-hearted energy to it, and both shows I’ve seen just make you feel so happy to be alive. Jens Lekman pretended he was a plane and flew around the stage. That was cool. PB&J played with the enthusiasm of a band on its first or last show ever….it was incredible and I’ve never seen stage presence like these guys had (except maybe for Man Man). Peter was a mad man, climbing the lighting poles, falling off stage, etc.

The show started off with the song that gave me my first introduction into PB&J last year “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off”. I love this song in the way that it reminds me of Belle & Sebastian’s “Stay Loose” not so much because of the tune itself (though to some extent it calls that song to mind), but moreover because of the complete divergence from the rest of their sound. It took me some time to warm up after first hearing “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” to open up to the rest of the music simply because the sound is so different, but eventually I did. Nevertheless, this got the show off well in my mind.

A few songs later was another of my favorites, sung by John, the drummer, called “Start to Melt”.

In addition to the sound itself, the crowd was one of the best Louisville crowds I’ve seen since The National at Headliners earlier this summer The number of people there alone was shocking…..the place was packed, which is why my photos below are taken from a bit further back than I would have liked. As for the crowd, the usuals were present, which is something that I love….that there are certain kids you can always expect to see. I want to be sure to give our kids credit where its due, and while many times the kids don’t dance, we were all feeding like maniacs off the energy of PB&J and they were feeding off of us….a vicious and beautiful cycle…..resulting in an incredibly energetic show. At one point at the end during “Up Against the Wall”, Peter was playing at the very end of the stage, and then nothing…..gone from sight….he was down in the crowd and everyone was jumping and singing and screaming and the energy was so high and then from nowhere….he starts playing guitar from the floor. I was blown away…I’ve never seen anything like that. I’ve seen loads of singers jump down with their mic and sing into the crowd. I’m going to see Dan Deacon and Girl Talk play ground level, but seeing Peter fall and keep playing blew my mind. This is of course in despite of the fact that at one point during the show, Bjorn noted that Peter was sick with a cold (I think), but the lovely Noelle heard from the noon-time “Live Lunch” show held by WFPK that Peter was actually just really hung over. Whatever it was, we couldn’t see it as they played like champions.

During the middle of the show, the most amazing sequence of songs were played in a succession starting with Amsterdam. The crowd went crazy on this one because its such a great dance song…probably one of the only true dance songs they’ve got. Next up was my personal favorite, Paris 2004. I don’t have the words to describe how I feel about this song, but something about it just resonates with me, I guess. The opening sequence to this song just makes me feel like I can do anything and makes me miss my days in London. Not to mention the vision of love you have to get in your head of a young and new love with the line I’m all about you, you’re all about me, we’re about each other. The next song was indie chart topper, “Young Folks,” perhaps more easily recognized as “The Whistle Song” heard in seemingly every television show and commercial on TV. Initially, I was shocked because I truly believed that they were actually doing the whistling….Peter put up a good front until he forgot to act the part while the whistle track relentlessly played on. I was only disappointed because I’d believed they were actually whistling. The last of the sequence of note kept with the Concretes theme and is another one of my favorites, “Teen Love”, which was massively botched by Peter forgetting the lyrics, and so the band stopped & restarted. While it was massively botched, I actually enjoy when artists mess up like that (the Dylan performance of “I don’t believe you” from Halloween 196_ comes to mind), because it shows the artists are fallible and human and could be your own friends.

The first set concluded with “Objects of my Affection” which is yet another song I absolutely love, which brings me to my next point….they played everything I wanted to hear. So much so that when they were set to come out for the encore I wondered what they could do to top their initial set. As far as I was concerned, they hadn’t saved anything for it. Later I realized there were a few I love they skipped including “Tailormade”, “Poor Cow” and “All those Expectations.”

But the show they put on for the Encore was so energetic that I’m still hyped from the show nearly 24 hours later. If you missed this show…..I’m sorry.


  1. Lets Call it Off
  2. Far Away, By My Side
  3. (I Just Wanna) See Through
  4. Start to Melt
  5. The Chills
  6. Ancient Curse
  7. Amsterdam
  8. Paris 2004
  9. Young Folks
  10. Teen Love
  11. I Don’t Know What I Want Us To Do
  12. Objects of My Affection


  1. [Million Dollar Question]
  2. Up Against the Wall



At this point, Peter & Bjorn reminded me of the movie “Brothers of the Head” as they sort of dove in together and played as though they were two parts of the same person.

Immediately after the above picture, Peter went off stage for a little ground level performance

More notable spectacles that PB&J delivered included when Peter climbed the lighting pole, and jumped off.

Peter joining the band back on stage, during “Up Against the Wall”

Looks like Peter has a bit of a gut here. I know its hipster to wear small clothing, but maybe reconsider it Pete.

Peter lost his guitar for a bit, rocking out a little too hard.

Peter’s guitar gets out of control


This is a clip from PB&J’s encore, “Up Against the Wall.” Peter fell into the crowd, so all you can see is the top of his guitar. He gets pulled back on stage and starts climbing the walls. This is how you finish a show.

As always, you can download all of our photos in full size on Cory’s Picasa Webalbums.


  1. wow. not nearly enough pictures here. were you slacking, nick?

  2. […] Peter Bjorn and John Survive Headliners Show 11/30By nicholashartIt took me some time to warm up after first hearing “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” to open up to the rest of the music simply because the sound is so different, but eventually I did. Nevertheless, this got the show off well in my mind …Backseat Sandbar – […]

  3. wow you got a lot of good pics, here’s my short review,
    i’ve got some really good youtube on there that can use if you like.

  4. i have no idea on that first song man. i dont even remember them playing another song before up against the wall honestly, but it must be a cover if its not on any of their albums.

  5. […] Fang (11/17) Feist / Jason Collett (11/20) Tony Touch (11/24) Petticoat, Petticoat (11/30) Peter Bjorn & John […]

  6. […] Jagjaguwar and it has been anticipated they would tour together. The Besnard Lakes (who opened for PB&J at Headliners in November), Okkervil River, and Sunset Rubdown are also a member of this Bloomington, IN based […]

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