Monday, December 3, 2007

It's PB&J Time!

And The Blot's Not Talking About Peanut Butter Jelly Time Either!

Writer's Block

While I was in Dallas for Thanksgiving, Al and I decided to go see Swedish pop sensation Peter Bjorn & John at the Palladium. I have been dying to see PB&J since I first bought their latest album Writer’s Block. If you haven’t heard it before please go to their website or their MySpace page and take a listen. You can preview many, if not all, of the tracks from Writer’s Block on those two websites. The most popular song from the album is “Young Folks,” which can currently be heard playing in Bath & Body Works I learned while shopping with Al, but I also really enjoy “Amsterdam,” “Let’s Call It Off” and “Paris 2004.” The whole album is really good and has been in heavy rotation on The Blot's iPod for months.

Peter Bjorn and JohnIf you couldn’t tell by the name, PB&J is a three piece indie rock band made up of Peter Moren (vocals, guitar and harmonica), Bjorn Yttling (bass guitar and vocals) and John Eriksson (drums and vocals). I had originally planned on seeing the Swedish rock group this past summer at Lollapalooza but unfortunately they were scheduled to perform right before My Morning Jacket on a side stage, but at that point there was no way I could leave our little area of grass we had claimed to watch MMJ and Pearl Jam because the crowd had already grown ridiculously big and people were closing in on any open ground they could find. So I gave up my hope of seeing Peter Bjorn & John that day and figured I’d catch them if they ever made it down South. At the time I didn’t think they’d be making it to Texas anytime soon so I was kind of bummed.

Peter Bjorn and JohnFlash forward just a few months later and I found out PB&J was going to be touring and was starting their North America tour in Texas the weekend of Thanksgiving. I got a little nervous that I’d be crisscrossing with the band with my traveling to Dallas and their heading down to Houston, but thankfully things worked out. Plus I was able to check out one of the newest concert venues in Dallas, the Palladium, which didn’t exist when I used to live up there. I still haven’t gotten to check out Dallas' new House of Blues, which I have heard really good things about.

It was freezing and wet the night of the show and Al and I were considering not going after a long weekend of shopping, but we sucked it up and headed downtown. I’m glad we did too because the Palladium was great. The concert was in the Loft at the Palladium, which was really a small trendy club upstairs, with the Palladium Ballroom downstairs. The size of the Loft allowed for a really intimate concert with the crowd packed around the stage.

Young Folks SingleSince we got there late, we missed the opening act The Besnard Lakes completely. We didn’t feel like fighting the tightly packed crowd so Al and I decided to just stand at the side of the stage close to the room’s entrance. After listening to a song or two, we somehow found ourselves about two or three people from the stage…much closer and a better view than we ever thought we’d get. PB&J played for well over an hour and a half and played a really long encore. The audience was pretty into the show, singing along and reacting to Peter as he was running around the stage singing and getting everyone on the sides of the stage to feel more like a part of the show. Thankfully we didn’t miss any of my favorite songs and the band was surprisingly as good live as they are on the album. That isn’t always the case with many indie bands, especially in some of the small venues they play due to the concert venue’s bad sound equipment. But the Palladium is relatively new and very high tech with a great sound system and flat screen TVs all around the room. If you're in Dallas and looking for somewhere new to go out try out the Palladium and let me know how it is on an average weekend night with no concert.

Peter Bjorn and JohnThe best part of the night was after the show was over the band came out to the merchandise booth to sign some autographs. Since Al and I were standing to the side of the stage where the merchandise was being sold we were unknowingly at the front of the line to meet the band. So we got to talk with Peter, Bjorn & John but for some reason we forgot our digital camera so there’s no photographic proof of the meeting…but since we were already up there we ended up purchasing a limited edition tour poster and got PB&J to sign it for us. You can check out the poster and autographs in the pic below.

Peter Bjorn & John Tour 2007 Concert Poster by Methane Studios (Robert Lee)
They seemed like pretty nice guys and were really friendly to all their fans but Al and I didn’t stick around for too long as the crowd was rushing both to the exit and to the band which made the whole situation a little dicey. At that point we just wanted out so we threw some elbows and worked our way to the parking lot. The show was great and we were both really glad we decided to go. If you happen to be in Millvale, PA tonight then you can head down to the Mr. Smalls Theatre for the last stop on Peter, Bjorn & John’s 2007 U.S. Tour.

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