Peter Bjorn & John / Young Galaxy

Club Soda, Montreal QC January 21

BY Jasamine White-GluzPublished Jan 26, 2008

After choosing to lose an MTV Video Award over playing the Osheaga Festival last fall, Peter Bjorn & John finally made their much-anticipated return to Montreal. Opening the show was local Young Galaxy, who took concertgoers on a consistent mid-tempo jaunt into dream pop. Droning girl/boy vocals and shoegazer guitar riffs made for an enjoyable if somewhat repetitive listen. Peter Bjorn & John’s last album Writer’s Block was a fantastic retro throwback with genius songwriting and production. The live show, however, doesn’t quite hold up to that greatness. That resonating, nostalgic feel of the band instead sounded too stripped down and garage-like. However, there were several magical moments during "Amsterdam” and "Start to Melt” where the band managed to create some lovely reverb soundscapes despite being only three onstage. After drunken frat boys hollered most of the night for them to play "Young Folks,” Catherine McCandless from Young Galaxy joined the band onstage for a stiff but adequate performance of the band’s most popular tune. The show got more local when past tour-mate Jace Lasek of Montreal’s Besnard Lakes appeared onstage to invite the crowd to the official after party at a local hipster dive. Despite what may have been a lacklustre performance, at the core Peter Bjorn & John write incredible songs and their dorky, charming stage banter made the blow a little easier to bear.

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