review by Jonathan Hamilton
photos by Nate Watters
A sold out Crocodile was already packed, sweaty and loud by the time U.K. band Peggy Sue took the stage. It only took a couple of songs for the crowd to become enthralled with the band’s melancholy thrashing. Everyone in attendance cemented their love for the band when in between songs they quipped, “Have you played Big Buck Hunter down the road?” meaning Shorty’s in Belltown, “For a vegetarian, I really like killing stuff.”
Peggy Sue are not only touring in support of last year’s Yep Roc release, Acrobats, they also have a tour only CD of songs from the 1950’s and ’60’s.
Anyone who has ever said that the English lack soul obviously have never heard Peggy Sue play their version of Ray Charles’ “Hit the Road Jack.” The crowd in attendance went absolutely insane for the last half of the song. It was so loud as the song ended that I wondered if Peggy Sue had stolen the show.
From that point on, Peggy Sue could do no wrong as they finished up their set with a couple of songs from their last record, then the Martha Reeves and the Vandellas song “(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave” before closing with their new song “Idle.”
First Aid Kit hit the stage and ran through “This Old Routine” and “Hard Believer” before they stopped to talk to the crowd for the first time. They said that they have a special connection to Seattle because of the Fleet Foxes and that band’s support of their early work. This was also the first time that you could hear screams of “EMMYLOU!” emanating from the crowd which happened during most of the between songs banter until they finally gave the crowd what they wanted.
They followed up “Emmylou” with “New Year’s Eve”. It was absolutely stunning and by the end of the song it was just Klara’s voice filling the Crocodile punctuated by Johanna on glockenspiel. The chill throughout the room was palpable. Several people near me began to cry. There was a moment after the last note where the space felt utterly silent.
Klara then stepped to the front of the stage in front of the microphones and said that this next song would be a bit experimental but, “Everyone has to be quiet!” Then she stared at and hushed the people talking in the balcony. And then it happened…
A lot of people in the crowd that night came to see the sisters who play that song, “Emmylou.” What we bared witness to at the Crocodile that night was one of the best shows anyone will see in Seattle this year. What we saw was a young band who have amazingly professional chops and a stage presence and control of the audience well beyond their years.
From that point on the crowd ate up whatever the sisters Söderberg fed them. They even took the time to give shout outs to Fever Ray and Patti Smith. They came out for the encore and played “Dancing Barefoot” which is a version of the song that famously made Patti Smith cry. I can absolutely see why. They they closed the show with a rocking rendition of “King of the World”.
If you missed this show then I feel sorry for you. The next time First Aid Kit come to Seattle I have a feeling it won’t be to play a space as small as the Crocodile.
First Aid Kit setlist:
1) This Old Routine
2) Hard Believer
4) In the Hearts of Men
5) Heavy Storm
7) New Year’s Eve
8) Ghost Town
9) To a Poet
11) When I Grow Up* – Fever Ray song
12) Dance to Another Tune
13) I Met Up With the King
14) Lion’s Roar
15) Dancing Barefoot* – Patti Smith song
16) King of the World