A VIP concert by the Swedish pop act Peter Bjorn and John at the midtown W hotel (part of the W hotels’ Wonderlust Live series) felt like a trip back to simpler, flusher times, when it was normal to be served a free, exotic cocktail from a bar carved out of ice. Nowadays, that seems a bit weird. But there was nothing weird about the performance — PB&J put on a Bladerunner-like show, cool and primitive, futuristic and visceral.
In fact, at some of the more intense moments, we were reminded of that scene in which Harrison Ford, running from the cyborgs or whatever the hell they were, leaps headlong from one rooftop to the next and makes a full body-plant on cement. But in a good way! PB&J played through their forthcoming — and freshly leaked — album, Living Thing, which sounded much better live than our first listen of the advance CD, then were joined onstage by
Victoria Bergsman Heather D’Angelo (of Au Revoir Simone) for an absolutely kick-ass version of their whistling hit, “Young Folks.” As producer Bryan Michael Cox, who introduced the band, told the crowd afterward, “You tell the motherfuckers back at work that they done pushed the button.” Yup, they pushed it, motherfuckers.