Peter Bjorn & John
Trolling South by Southwest 2007
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., March 23, 2007
Peter Bjorn & John
La Zona Rosa, Wednesday, March 14
In a remarkably apt mispronunciation, Peter Morén of Peter Bjorn & John introduced "The Chills" by saying "You're all giving me the shills." As most of the insider crowd filling La Zona Rosa for the Swedish trio's official SXSW showcase had contributed to the hype circulating behind the group's infectious "Young Folks," marking the crowd as shills wasn't far off target. Equally telling, however, was the mass exodus following the hit single's high point in the set, which, lacking Victoria Bergsman's brilliantly blasé vocals, seemed only half-developed. While the group backed the buzz convincingly enough, PB&J's sound was sandwiched between an ambitious Britpop pomposity and more straightforward indie twee that didn't transition well live. The sprawling "Big Black Coffin" and "Up Against the Wall" smothered the simplicity of "Paris 2004" and "Amsterdam," and though the group handled both styles well, the clash between mainstream and indie sensibilities seemed to divide the crowd's reactions as much as it did the set.
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