We Had The British Invasion; Here’s The Swedish Invasion!

I have been a fan of First Aid Kit, a duo composed of Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, from the time I first heard them over two years ago.

First Aid Kit (Johanna in foreground)

First Aid Kit (Johanna in front, Klara in back)

As soon as their headlining show at The Paradise Rock Club was announced, I knew I would be in the audience. 

I saw Johanna and Klara sing with Conor Oberst at the Newport Folk Festival in 2012 and loved their harmonies so I looked forward to seeing them perform their own music.

First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit

As soon as they took the stage, the crowd became rapt. I expected that the audience would be full of young men since Johanna and Klara are beautiful young women, but I’d venture a guess that there were many more women than men.

First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit

Johanna plays keyboard while Klara plays guitar; Klara does much of the lead singing.  In addition, they have a drummer and a pedal steel/mandolin/guitar player who perform with them (sorry, I didn’t catch their names).

Klara

Klara

Johanna

Johanna

Mandolin player

Mandolin player

Drummer

Drummer

Their style in indie-folk mainly, but there’s some country influence as well as some psychedelic pop. One of their best-known songs is ‘Emmylou’ which they sang as the last song of the encore; this is an homage to Emmylou Harris, June Carter Cash, Gram Parsons, and Johnny Cash. It’s a beautiful song that I was glad was included in the setlist.

Johanna

Johanna and Klara

They included a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘One More Cup of Coffee’ as well as Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘America’. The latter was done beautifully with haunting harmonies.

First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit

They are touring in support of the new album ‘Stay Gold’ which was released a couple of days after this show. There were a number of songs from the new album in the setlist as well as much-loved songs from their previous album, ‘The Lion’s Roar’.

First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit

One thing I appreciated is that they seem interested only in performing well without titillating the crowd. Even Johanna’s mane-tossing did not feel intended to excite.

Johanna

Johanna

I thoroughly enjoyed their set; unfortunately, it was a little short and left me wanting more.

Klara

Klara

Willy Mason, a wonderful singer-songwriter who I saw perform about 18 months ago, opened the show with a lovely set.

Willy Mason

Willy Mason

Willy has a style that’s mostly folk-blues, although there’s some country in there.

About two-thirds of the way through the set, Willy brought his mother, Jemima James, to the stage to sign a few songs with him. The first song they sang together was a song she wrote while the other were written by Willy.

Willy and Jemima James

Willy and Jemima James

All in all, it was a fine evening of folk-y music and a perfect way to end a weekend!

About suze72

I've loved the arts all my life... I go to a lot of concerts, take lots of photos and want to share them. Every once in a while I do something other than a concert, too. The Boston area is full of opportunities to indulge my passion - I'd like to help make it yours too!

Posted on June 13, 2014, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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