Live Review: Peter Bjorn and John w/ Hein Cooper @ Metro Theatre
The sticky floors of the beloved Metro Theatre are always a familiar welcome. It’s a comfortable, intimate space for us to enjoy the crystal clear sounds and the scent of spilt drinks past.
Support act Hein Cooper is an adorable man. The buttoned up beauty had just returned to his home country for a few short days in between lengthy Europe tours. We are a tiny bit obsessed with him here at AAA Backstage, and not that we’re boasting but we liked him before he solidified his stake in the triple j rotation with Rusty.
His repertoire was mostly from his debut album The Art of Escape. He started with Dopamine, steadily looping whilst gesturing towards himself with his hand as if he’s taking a whiff like his loop is a delicious Bolognese. His sweet tones turn bizarre and dark as he jumps into The Real. Towards the end of this strange song we hear a deliciously powerful guitar riff. I would have liked to hear some more of that power dispersed throughout the song, in a Lithium Nirvana-esque juxtaposition to ramp up the dynamic potential.
“We warmed immediately to the kooky dancing, the jackets with rear name tags, and the funny strange onstage banter.”
New tune The Fear Of Missing Out is just a taste of what is to come, with a good simple acoustic riff and the catchy lyrics “when it’s good it’s good, and when it’s bad it’s bad”. Cooper’s voice switched between soft verses and a mighty chorus making this one memorable. Overflow has a great electronic breakdown, it’s a strange addition but builds well. He melted us with his last romantic ballad Kiss My Lips. It’s the end of the set and I’m now a little bit in love…hit me up Cooper, because “I’ll jump in the ocean after you”.
Read our interview with Hein Cooper for earlier this year HERE
It’s been nine years since Peter Bjorn and John last came to Sydney and performed at the Metro Theatre. They’re freaking hilarious and their Swedish charm has certainly been missed. We warmed immediately to the kooky dancing, the jackets with rear name tags, and the funny strange onstage banter. Peter clarified for us that there was a Peter, a Bjorn, and a John. They probably got the jackets to clear that confusion up…
The stage was set up with a dazzling lighting zigzag at the back that changed colour and speed to match the music playing. The quality sound was crisp and pleasing to the ear. They opened with May Seem Macabre, a nice first pick with steady bass and slow steady vocals. Bjorn started a clap, the first of many to come…crowd participation was mandatory. What You Talking About resurrected some serious 80s vibes which are very on trend at the moment, and there was plenty of head-bopping goodness.
Bjorn took this moment to plug new album ‘Breakin Point’, describing the tri-hammer album art so that we couldn’t miss it. It’s some fusion of 80s vibes, indie pop, with a sprinkle of piano to keep it grounded and wholesome. It’s certainly a pleasing follow up to ‘Gimme Some’. The title-track Breakin’ Point is another sweet melody, which I expect will find itself on another movie soundtrack somewhere, its emotion and simple sweet chorus give me goose bumps! Continuing this vibe, A Long Goodbye taught us “it’s hard to be cruel to someone kind”.
“Peter just got into the audience and walked around slowly serenading everyone…all in the crowd were involved in holding up his microphone cord so he could make it all the way around.”
New album froth aside, the throwbacks were just as good. It Don’t Move Me was immediately recognised by the audience. The groovy sneaky melody got us all moving. Then to our delight, and much to the surprise of the roadie (who rushed to hold the cord), Peter just got into the audience and walked around slowly serenading everyone…all in the crowd were involved in holding up his microphone cord so he could make it all the way around. It was just so casual, and just so cool!
We then travelled to America with the New York-inspired Do-Si-Do, a deceptively sad song hiding by a cheeky cheery façade. Eyes from album ‘Second Chance’ was a sunshine summer banger with a rocky riff. Summer was still going with next song Dig a Little Deeper, causing Peter to literally fall on the floor. The onstage antics were the cherry on top of a marvelous performance.
A great night was finished off with that “whistling song” (Young Folks) with fantastic vocals by Freya, big hit Second Chance, and finally a long self-indulgent rendition of I Know You Don’t Love Me. For once I didn’t mind it, they pulled it off goddamnit!