Peter Bjorn and John – Tickets – College Street Music Hall. – New Haven, CT – September 20th, 2016

Peter Bjorn and John

Manic Productions and Premier Concerts Present:

Peter Bjorn and John

Julien Baker, Mates of State

Tue, September 20, 2016

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

$22

Tickets at the Door

This event is all ages

This event is General Admission Standing Room on the Floor. There will be limited first-come, first-served seating available in the back of the room, but seating is not guaranteed.

Peter Bjorn and John
Peter Bjorn and John
It’s been five years since Peter Bjorn And John have wowed the world with their musical talents. During a fruitful period of disappearance, the trio have built their own studio, started a record label, and toiled to perfect a formula for effortless sounding pop music that (spoiler alert!) has taken them a huge amount of effort. Something else happened, too. The rise of Swedes in music scenes around the globe gained huge traction. From Avicii and Swedish House Mafia to Lykke Li and Robyn, the flag for Scandinavian genius flew. But one (or – more accurately – three) names were missing: those of Peter Moren, Bjorn Yttling and John Eriksson.

The gang of childhood friends who once bonded over a love of ‘60s baroque pop and Stone Roses famously broke the mould an entire decade ago with one of the catchiest songs to feature whistling ever – “Young Folks.” But as bassist and production whizz Bjorn says, “Young Folks” was not a curse upon a career that is on the verge of entering its seventh era with forthcoming album Breaking Point. “Seven albums seems like an awful lot,” reflects Bjorn. “But we put them out during a long period so it's OK!”

Breaking Point is about the band's newfound search for another career high. “We started with some other album title ideas – like Thriller 2. Then we realised we were pushing the envelope so got into the idea of a breaking point. If we broke it once, we can break it twice,” says Bjorn. That’s why the album artwork features a hammer with three heads on it, not just to strike your nightmares, but to send a message out to everyone. “It says – ‘We’re back! We’re smashing it!’ Haha.” In the literal sense, they may be wielding hammers, but how about musically? “Musically, a breaking point is just about working so hard until you know you can’t do any more,” says Bjorn. “It’s about being in that fog when you’re creating where you can’t see. That’s when you find something – the door home, or the door out. You get a chance to turn it around. You have to really put yourself in a big mess to be able to go somewhere new.”

The trio’s previous record Gimme Some wasn't exactly a big mess, it was Peter Bjorn And John’s “power pop, guitar statement,” focused on recreating in the studio what they were confidently doing live. Having established that ground for themselves, they wanted to do the total opposite of that this time around. “This was about doing big pop songs,” says Bjorn, who recalls sitting around listening to ABBA with his bandmates, marvelling at how they made it sound and look so easy.

Gimme Some was also the first of Peter Bjorn And John’s records to feature an outside producer. Breaking Point sees the threesome high on that socialising bug, inviting a whole host of others to join them aboard the good pop/rock ship. Together these outside influences have helped the band realise their dreams of creating era-defining, dance floor appropriate indie pop that intends to affect people on a deeper level. It’s about the tropes of life, the difficulties that come with maturing. “There are very few songs in our collection that are positive. I can’t think of one,” laughs Bjorn. “It's always been about the blues. Life is shit, but tonight is nice – that’s what pop is, especially the songs that we love. You wanna have some darkness to be able to see the light. That’s how we do it up here in Sweden! It’s like a black and white movie if you look out: snow and a black mass of darkness.”

Indeed, opening track and album highlight “Dominos” is a piano disco anthem about working for the Man. The track “Hard Sleep” and title track “Breakin’ Point” are about abandoning life’s small trivialities and embracing newfound fatherhood. //You've been hiding in the bosom of my dream, now the clock sets the scene// go the lyrics. On “A Long Goodbye” the guitar riff is reminiscent of Blondie classic “Heart Of Glass.” “Yes I can hear that,” agrees Bjorn. “But we haven't sampled it so you can forgive us for that.”

Bjorn comments on how they didn't need to go too far to find their collaborators – the alternative music community had naturally begun to hang out more in Stockholm. “So we started to see more people more regularly,” he says. They met Patrik Berger first. At the time he was working with Icona Pop and Robyn. “We knew he was in a punk band before. We were looking for people who wanted to make hits that also had that rock influence.”

Thankfully they also had the likes of Paul Epworth (Florence And The Machine, U2, Paul McCartney), Greg Kurstin (Sia, Adele), Emile Haynie (Lana Del Rey, FKA Twigs, Kanye West) and Pontus Winnberg (Miike Snow) to help guide them. “You behave better when you have people over for dinner that aren’t just your family,” he says, proverbially. “It wasn’t that we just brought in anyone. We really respect what these guys do. We wanted to make pop music that was relevant now and not in a fantasy world of what we thought would be relevant. We learned how to not dwell on stuff because you can’t sit forever. You have to reach a goal. That was a little bit scary at first.” One fulfilled goal was to have their own built studios in Sweden, studios that were formerly used by ABBA. It’s also the site of the trio’s new label INGRID.

Despite their fears, the collaborating also reasserted their own winning sense of self-confidence. “Well, you realise you know some stuff yourself too!” laughs Bjorn. “That made us cocky.” Peter Bjorn And John intend for these songs to be consumed on the radio, in live shows and – most importantly – on the dance floor. “Like ABBA would though, it’s not like we're going for the Avicii thing. In a nice pub, you know?” says Bjorn. “We definitely want it to be like Prince’s version of a dance floor song. Everything should be groovy and funky.”

Having been together almost 20 years, Bjorn is still unsure as to what their secret is. “Exercise!” he jokes. “We all have different ideas and those have to live close to each other. That’s what makes it an interesting mould. If you mix two similar ingredients you’re not gonna get a good result. You have to have a little pepper and salt to get a good dish.” Indeed, just like their culinary acronym counterpart – P B & J (peanut butter and jelly) – Peter Bjorn And John are a meld of three disparate and unique elements. Together, they’re both classic and delicious.
Julien Baker
Julien Baker
Sometimes, things just seem to happen for a reason. The pieces fall into place in unexpected ways, and life takes a turn no one could have predicted. This rings strikingly true for the solo career of Memphis, Tennessee's Julien Baker.

For years, Baker and a group of close friends have performed as the band Forrister (formerly The Star Killers), but when college took her four hours away, her need to continue creating found an outlet through solo work. The intent was never to make these songs her main focus, yet the process proved to be startlingly cathartic. As each song came into shape, it became more apparent that Baker had genuinely deep, surprisingly dark stories to tell from her thus far short life (she turns 20 this fall). Tales of her experiences are staggering, and when set to her haunting guitar playing, the results are gut wrenching and heartfelt, relatable yet very personal. There's something wonderfully hypnotizing about Baker gently confessing her soul with such tremendous honesty.

At the prompting of a friend, Baker ventured to Richmond, Virginia to record a number of her new songs at Spacebomb Studios. The tracks from this session were circulated among Baker's friends, meeting high praise and lots of encouragement for the songs to see a proper release. Soon, she found a home on 6131 Records' increasingly diverse roster, and plans were made to release her debut full length, 'Sprained Ankle.'

To call 'Sprained Ankle' a happy accident would be misleading as to the nature of these poignant, emotive songs. Yet no one, least of all Baker, could have predicted she'd be releasing an album, especially as a solo artist. Thankfully, now the world will be able to share in her passion and sorrow.
Mates of State
Mates of State
How does a band keep evolving and moving forward after 15 years? First up, embrace the modern age and the way that people are consuming music these days. "I don't like it, but the long play album format is probably dead," says Mates of State singer/drummer Jason Hammel. "Now we just want the hits. Don't bother me with filler; get me your best songs straightaway."

Rather than lamenting this shift in listening preferences, Hammel and his bandmate Kori Gardner are taking a very KISS-like approach with their new music: you wanted the best, you got the best.

The pair's new self-produced EP 'You're Going To Make It,' then, is nothing but choice cuts; five anthemic and emotionally-rich songs that will quickly take up residence in your mental jukebox; five anthemic songs that wriggle into your every waking hour like the earworms they are.

This new batch of tunes is Mates of State in its purest form. The razor sharp harmonies, shimmering new wave synth melodies, an internal warmth that can only come from a couple that has been musically and romantically involved for nearly two decades, and lyrics that speak to both personal and universal concerns.

On "Beautiful Kids," the band speaks to how, even though we are connected to one another 24/7 thanks to modern technology, a sense of loneliness still pervades. Or as Hammel puts it: "We all just want to be seen, but we won't look up from our screens so that we can be seen." "Gonna Get It" and "I Want To Run" build off the same inspiring notion of the EP's title, encouraging both themselves and their fans to keep striving no matter what the odds. And fist-pumping opener "Staring Contest" connects us to that delicious ache of schoolyard crushes and youthful love.

It's not just the manner in which Mates of State is planning to release music from here on out that is evolving, but also how the band will be presenting them on their upcoming tours of U.S. and Europe. "We're focusing more on performance as a whole and not being stuck behind our instruments," says Hammel. "We're coming to the front of the stage for some songs. Kori plays drums, Jason does some keys. Mixing up the performances in new and exciting ways."

The band is also exploring some new creative avenues this year with the release of 'The Rumperbutts,' a feature film that Hammel and Gardner acted in and composed the score for. Written and directed by Marc Brener, the film will hit theaters on May 22nd.

After a decade and an half of acclaimed albums and live performances, and songs that have become near pop standards for a generation of music fans, it's good to know that Mates of State isn't content with coasting. Hammel and Gardner are working as hard as ever and looking excitedly toward what the future has to offer.

'You're Going To Make It' comes out June 16, 2015 on Barsuk Records.
Venue Information:
College Street Music Hall.
238 College Street
New Haven, CT, 06510
http://www.collegestreetmusichall.com

Parking Information