Swedish duo First Aid Kit show how American music is done
Hollywood Palladium, West Hollywood, Cal., May 16, 2023
Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh
In fact, one of the more memorable songs this night was "Wild Horses II," which details a discussion as to which version of "Wild Horses" is better: the Rolling Stones' take or Gram Parson's. Sadly, many Americans might not even know about the influence The Flying Burrito Brothers had on the Stones more country sounds.
The sibling act was appearing in support of its "Palomino" album, which was also the opening number. Some of these songs were just simply beautiful, especially the heartbreaking "Fireworks," which closed the out the set before a three-song encore. Consisting of sisters Johana and Klara Soderberg, it was hard not to hear these vocals as a sort of feminized Everly Brothers. Whether backed by a three-piece backing band nor just a couple of women with acoustic guitars, their singing never failed to thrill.
First Aid Kit was preceded by a short half-hour set from Hurray for the Riff Raff. Fronted by Alynda Mariposa Segarra, this group incorporated more rock into its sound, but Segarra displayed a robust singing voice in places. While enjoyable, a half-hour just seemed a little too short. We didn't really need a half-hour between acts.
You could say there was plenty of girl power presented this evening - the harder edges with Hurray and the softer tones from First Aid Kit. It was also heartening to see such a large crowd for these still slightly underground acts on a Tuesday night. The pre-show music, which included Lucinda Williams and Los Lobos, highlighted how this was a night especially created for fans of the ever-inclusive Americana scene. Even though neither group has made many inroads into mainstream country music, there are plenty of curious folks that found them out, even without the help of radio songs. For First Aid Kit, how Swede it is, but also oh how so sweet it is.
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