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First Aid Kit is thankfully on the road again

Roadrunner, Boston, July 16, 2023

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Like taxes and death, one of the other few givens seems to be is that sibling harmonies are simply gorgeous. The latest example of that is the Swedish duo First Aid Kit, comprised of Johanna and Klara Söderberg. And once again before a sold-out crowd, the Soderbergs, who had not been to the city in five years, underscored the point.

Decked out in maroon/red spangly boots, Klara was the lead singer for most of the 19-song, 80-minute set. She's a very clear-voiced (great work from the sound man), clean singer, who exudes emotion with her powerful vocals. There's no saccharine there. Johanna was no slouch either when in putting the songs across. More often, though, she was lending her vocal talents by adding background harmonies although she did assume leads. Perhaps none better than on Americana/countryish "Wild Horses II," which namechecks the Rolling Stones and Gram Parsons.

First Aid Kit wisely pushed hard on promoting their recent release, "Palomino," starting with the title cut. Three of the first four songs came from the release.

First Aid Kit also played a three-song acoustic set without their supple backing trio, starting with a worthy cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Songbird" before taking on "Ghost Town" and "Hem of Her Dress" with the band eventually rejoining during that song. A nice switch during which the vocals stood out even more.

While not having a dyed-in-the-wool country sound, the Soderbergs certainly knew their way around Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again." In the case of First Aid, they, too, seemed happy to sing together on "Just can't wait to get on the road again/The life I love is making music with my friends." Or at least it sure felt that way.

About the only particular nod to their homeland was the outro of "Dancing Queen" from Abba. First Aid Kit had nothing to do with Abba musically, of course, except for making you feel good from their music. That was for certain.

The set from opening act The Weather Station, a Canadian band fronted by Tamara Lindeman, seemed to grow in intensity by leaps and bounds. Employing a sax and clarinet certainly set this group apart. Perhaps not the most dynamic, The Weather Station made concert goers really listen to the music.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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