Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
Twas a bitter, bitter winter’s night in New York City, but Sweden’s The Concretes defrosted the crowd like a good mug of glögg. The kids were bopping to the jaunty tunes of their latest album WYWH, “All Day” and “Good Evening”, as well as back catalog favorites like “Say Something New”. Former drummer Lisa Milberg has taken over the uneviable task of replacing the lead vocals from the departed Victoria Bergsman (Taken By Trees). The two tackle songs in a slightly different approach. While Bergsman sang with a pang of effortless emotion, Milberg relishes the spotlight and brings a light hearted chirp. WYWM is a bit of a departure from past albums with more emphasis on dance synths, which lends to Milberg’s delivery. Lisa can also bring it down a notch to melancholy, as she demonstrated with her rendition of “I Wish We’d Never Met”.
This reviewer has quite the affinity to Ms. Bergsman, but I must say Ms. Milberg wins over the latter with her stage presence. While Victoria would shy away from eye contact, Lisa engaged the New York audience praising the city for having the best dogs. Alas, don’t expect a transatlantic move for The Concretes. Lisa confessed she could not handle the copious mimosas at breakfast everyday.
The concert culminated with an encore, in which Lisa covered Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s “Military Madness”. As if that was not enough of a treat, they played old favorite “You Can’t Hurry Love” after title track “WYWH”. The Concretes are on the upswing post-Bergsman. Though they probably will always be the former band of Victoria Bergsman, they are craving out a new chapter for the evolving band.