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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 2, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 05
Country-folk duo First Aid Kit shines at the Moore with bravura performance
Arts & Entertainment
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Country-folk duo First Aid Kit shines at the Moore with bravura performance

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

FIRST AID KIT
MOORE THEATRE
January 28


When you discover the sounds of First Aid Kit, as I did about six years ago, you'd swear it was made by two women from the Deep South, a rustic rural town where tractors outnumber automobiles. It's in these American farmland neck of the woods that lush songs such as 'Emmylou' and 'The Lion's Roar' were written and recorded, right? Wrong, so wrong.

First Aid Kit is a sister duo act from the outskirts of Stockholm, Sweden, an entire ocean away from the Bible Belt and the rustic South, as we know it. Klara and Johanna Söderberg began composing and uploading their own songs onto the Internet circa 2007, not long after Klara, the younger of the two, was given a guitar as a Christmas present and taught herself how to play. Although the sisters released an EP in their native Sweden in 2008, they were entirely unheard of across the Atlantic, that is until Robin Pecknold of the Seattle-band Fleet Foxes came across their cover of his band's hit single 'Tiger Mountain Peasant Song'. First Aid Kit soon thereafter started to draw a US fan base, but it wasn't until the pair's 2012 album The Lion Roars that they caught the attention of millions of followers. Fast forward to 2018 and the women have now released four full-length records and two EPs, the latest being an album titled Ruins, which came out just a few weeks ago.

Not a single seat was available Sunday evening when First Aid Kit performed at the Moore Theatre and the audience was more than eager for the show to start, which it did promptly at 9pm. With electric guitars strapped around their necks First Aid Kit ripped into the opening number, 'Rebel Heart', backed by a three-man band that included Seattle multi-instrumentalist Eli Moore. Klara twinkled in a black sheer cocktail dress with pasted-on sparkles and a pair of matching ankle boots, while the taller Johanna wore an eye-catching, thigh-length, cherry red-tiered dress with heels that showed off her long legs.

'Good evening, Seattle!' shouted Klara out to the crowd. 'It's good to be back!' The Moore Theatre is the same venue First Aid Kit played at on their last stop in the Emerald City a few years ago, when they were touring the album Stay Gold.

'Kings of the World' included a trombone part at the end, as Johanna simultaneously played guitar while jumping up and down like a true rock star. 'Postcard', from the new album, featured animated images of Southwestern desert landscapes and roadside scenery on a screen behind the drumset. Absolutely gorgeous was First Aid Kit's live and extended rendition of the title track from their Stay Gold album with a trombone outro from Moore; Johanna shook her lengthy blonde hair in all directions and concluded the song on her knees with a guitar.

Things took a very serious turn when the duo performed 'You Are the Problem Here', a newer single released on International Women's Day last March that they told the Moore audience was written 'out of frustration and anger' and in response to women around the world being disrespected, abused and forced into silence. 'We have your backs and we love you!' Klara shouted out.

'We're going to do a song by a sister duo from Seattle,' said Johanna and minutes later they were jamming on a wicked and quite impressive cover of Heart's 'Crazy On You'.

When First Aid Kit strummed the opening chords of 'Emmylou', the venue erupted with cheer. It was a flawless rendition that earned them a loud round of applause at the finale, as well as a standing ovation from a scattering of fans on the floor level. The audience was asked to join in on the festive number 'Hem of Her Dress', which they did so contentedly; and during an encore supporting act, Van Williams returned to the stage to play his song 'Revolution' with First Aid Kit; it was dedicated to his parents.

This was one of those shows that I wish I could see all over again. I had a feeling First Aid Kit would be really good in concert, but I was somewhat blown away when I left the theater. Count me in the next time they come to Seattle.

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