Schubas – Chicago, IL
Saturday’s show at Schubas was definitely surprising. I like Peter Bjorn and John but I’ll admit that I was a little skeptical about seeing Peter Moren by himself. Moren released his solo album entitled “The Last Tycoon” earlier this month.
Before the show, I visited Moren’s MySpace to check out what his solo stuff was like and it sounded a bit boring to me – mostly acoustic guitar and vocals – no bass, no drums or synths. Apparently his posted MySpace songs aren’t the best way to get a feel of his music.
If you are a fan of Peter, Bjorn and John then essentially you are going to be fine attending a Peter Moren show. I say essentially because once you hear his music you’ll really begin to realize how much of himself makes it into a PB&J album. You can hear it in his writing and in his song composition. The solo material is basically giving us one element of PB&J – and the drums and bass were present so it wasn’t boring after all.
His backup band consisted of just two guys; Doug and Tobais, who apparently have a lot to do with his album, he even jokingly referred to them as Peter, Tobias & Doug.
The show was very intimate because of Schubas being so small. And since he doesn’t use a set list, it was made even more intimate because they were shuffling around the stage all night switching instruments whenever Peter decided what song he wanted play. It seemed like a practice session, which is cool because they were comfortable – something that always translates well into performances.
It was refreshing to see a performer who is appreciative of the place he holds on stage. His performance was very natural, almost as if he needed to be up there, joking “John only likes to play for half-an-hour, but me, I can do this for hours, you know……….I have to do this every once in a while”
Peter Moren’s a funny guy too. He made jokes all night and shared a couple things about his life including his experience as a music teacher and how he was almost recruited by the Swedish military as a teenager but failed his hearing test on purpose because he’s pacifist and didn’t want to go. He also claims to be socially awkward but he seemed pretty fine to me.
While I wasn’t familiar with any of his solo material, he did perform a couple of PB&J songs including “Paris 2004” and my absolute favorite “Objects of My Affection”. I was very very happy that he performed “Objects of My Affection” because I’ve never seen PB&J live and that’s the one song I would be screaming for if I ever got to.
I was entertained by the bands cover of Vampire Weekend’s “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”, and having just recently seen VW in concert, I couldn’t tell the difference. The song was performed to show love to drummer Doug’s home town of New York (I thought is was a great choice because VW is definitely repping’ N.Y. big time right now) I also liked Moren’s take on Ah Ha’s “Take On Me”, something I wasn’t expecting but kind of cool.
I have a new respect for Peter, Bjorn & John and now I like Peter Moren, himself – he’s a pretty cool and very genuine guy.
While, I think I’ll stick to Peter Bjorn & John albums for right now, I would definitely catch Peter Moren live again anytime.