First Aid Kit: Concert Review!

First Aid Kit is made up of two Swedish sisters (Klara and Johanna Söderberg), who gained recognition after posting a cover of Fleet Foxes’ Tiger Mountain Peasant Song on YouTube in 2008. They’ve released two albums since—The Big Black and the Blue and The Lion’s Roar—and as part of their 2012 North American tour, played Toronto’s the Danforth Music Hall on September 26th.

Opener was Dylan LeBlanc, a folk musician from Louisiana. He was chatty, telling a story that involved both recreational drug use and working at an Applebee’s in the south. He put on a simple performance, letting his voice take centre stage–bellowing throughout the Danforth, always on key.

First Aid Kit took the stage a few minutes after ten, wearing floral, seventies-style dresses and opening with the slow-paced In the Morning, then progressing smoothly into the considerably more upbeat, Blue.

Midway through their set, the girls took a break from their microphones. Standing close to the edge of the stage and checking that those in the mezzanine could hear them, they began singing Ghost Town, offering a captivating example of their vocal capabilities. Substituting “and a New York window view” with, “and a Toronto window view” was a nice, localizing touch, much appreciated by the audience.

The gifts to the audience continued as they played a song from the B-side of the re-issue of The Lion’s Roar and a three-song encore, consisting of America (a Simon & Garfunkle cover), Sailor Song, and King of the World. The audience was equally giving, someone yelling, “So beautiful” during a silence between songs.

Although the merch table was sparse (only holding CD copies of The Lion’s Roar) Klara and Johanne graciously stuck around post-show to sign t-shirts, tickets, and albums, and to take pictures with fans.

Their tour continues with stops throughout the U.S., before they head back to Europe for a number of shows, then kicking off 2013 with an Australian show.

Leah Edwards

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