Gimme Some!

Peter Bjorn & John's Gimme Some tour brought them to the Trocadero back on Saturday, September 10. At least three shows in the two weeks prior to the one here in Philadelphia had been cancelled due to John the drummer's injured shoulder. When I first heard the news of the slew of cancelled shows my heart dropped, mostly because I had missed my chance to see the band back in May and so my chances of catching them again in the near future would be slim to none. But I followed the band's updates closely on Twitter all weekend, and much to my relief (and excitement!) they ensured everyone that the show would go on, albeit with some minor improvisations. 

The Trocadero is only several blocks away from both the Market East train station and the 11th Street subway stop, which makes getting there from anywhere in the city a breeze. Had I only been scheduled to move into my dorm one week earlier I could have just hopped on the subway. But as it was, I was still home on summer break when the date of the concert rolled around. Though I did pick up a helpful tip: if you ever end up driving to the Troc like I did, park over at the Hilton Garden Inn. It's literally half a block away, and if you get your parking ticket validated at the venue it costs only $6 for the entire night!

Unlike PB&J's last show in Philadelphia, which was at the TLA on South Street, this show had not sold out. I always feel a bit disappointed in this city when it fails to recognize some of my favorite bands, but perhaps it's just something I take too personally. Getting through the door was a breeze; I've read a lot of disgruntled reviews concerning this venues security, but my own experience has never been anything less than pleasant. I arrived at the doors half an hour after they opened and so I successfully avoided waiting in line. After a quick bag search and ID check, I had my photo pass in hand and was making my way towards the floor.

Work Drugs, who humorously grant themselves the title of "Philadelphia's premier Bat Mitzvah and Quinceanera party band," opened the show with undeniably catchy chillwave vibes. The band says they make music specifically for pleasurable outings of the nautical sorts, a perpetual summertime theme that, as someone who prefers summer over all other seasons, I'm totally willing to embrace. I especially appreciated their tongue-in-cheek outfits, which were thematically consistent down to each members pair of sunglasses. Even though I had only heard a single or two on a local radio station, the band appeared to already have a loyal following, which included the possibly drunk but wholeheartedly emphatic boys that were just to my left. 

Next to grace the stage was Memoryhouse, a duo which hails from Ontario, Canada, and whose talents extend beyond music and further into the visual arts. I did not realize it at first, but I had actually stumbled upon Denise Nouvion's photography via her flickr photostream several months ago (doesn't the internet make the world seem so small?).  As their title suggests, each track enveloped the audience with intricately composed waves of rippling sound that induced a sensation of inescapable nostalgia. I couldn't help but fear that most of the subtle, fuzzy textures present on the LP recordings would be lost in even the smallest of live venues, but their sound remained just as ethereal.

After one of the quickest sound checks I've every had the pleasure of waiting through, Peter Morén, Björn Yttling, and John Eriksson came bounding out onto the stage accompanied by the most epic entrance music I've ever heard. Their energy was infectious as they moved back and forth across the stage. It's always captivating to watch musicians who clearly love what they do. Sometimes, I can't help but notice that some bands act as though it is a complete chore to perform, but Peter Bjorn and John were most definitely not one of those bands. My heart leaped especially each time Peter danced across the stage and sang straight into my camera. Perhaps it was all in my head, but I had spotted only one other person with a camera who disappeared soon after the first opener, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it. The band sounded superb live, and my favorite tracks performed included (but were not limited to) Tomorrow Has To Wait, their ever-popular Young Folks, and Objects of My Affection. 

I left the venue brimming with that after-concert excitement, the kind that masks all feelings of exhaustion and makes the pain in one's feet disappear. That, along with one of the most clever concert t-shirts I've ever seen:

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