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First Aid Kit - Berlin


First Aid Kit – Astra, Berlin

First Aid Kit’s popularity gained momentum in 2010 with their album The Big Black and The Blue which the popular track ‘Ghost Town’ first appeared on. It was not until their second full-lenght record The Lions Roar was released in 2012 that the severity of their popularity was realised. Powerful tracks like ‘The Lions Roar’, produced by Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes and ‘Emmylou’ which was included in The Rolling Stones top 10 best songs of 2012.

The Swedish sisters have managed to woo fans and fellow musicians alike with their combination of Americana, folksy pop ballads combined with haunting lyrics and melodic harmonies, which has led them to tour and record with the likes of Jack White, Lykee Li and Bright Eyes.

The girls look like a country Abba, both in their early twenties you feel like they belong in the 70’s with their long hair, shiny boho flares and cutesy stage talk, enticing you with their harmonies that almost leave the stage and give you a big hug. Their music is easy on the ears, the sort of band you could take your mother to see.

Opening with ‘Stay Gold’ and following on with ‘Blue’ the girls created an upbeat atmosphere in the venue as they belted out the lyrics. The set takes on more of a sombre tone with the heartbreaking ‘Waitress Song’ and ‘In the Hearts of Men’ definitely convincing you that these girls have had their hearts broken a few times.

After a few words to the audience the First Aid Kit take to the front of the stage to sing ‘Ghost Town’ totally unplugged, emphasising just how strong the sisters voices are with their intricate harmonies echoing powerfully over the audiences singing.

Their american friends influence is very present in their choice of tracks with the girls covering Jack White’s ‘Love Interruption’ from the album Blunderbuss, powerfully making the song their own whilst prompting a huge serge of energy within the audience as the crowded venue bursts into dance.

The theme of heartbreak is present in throughout, especially in ‘A Long Time A go’, a real passionate tear jerker building up their voices towards ‘The Lions Raw’ to which the audience go crazy and weirdly, the woman next to me starts to cry at the girls emotional lyrics combined with their raw voices, the energy is surging throughout the venue.

The girls finish up with ‘Emmylou’ the highlight of this song being the Pedal Steel, a key component that really made each song its own and added a real country and western vibe.

First Aid Kit’s performance is polished and rehearsed, everything down to the dancing and hair swinging is perfectly timed, even when the girls speak to the audience in accents that could easily be confused with american, their scripted knock knock jokes go down a treat, even prompting laughs with the German audience, who famously do not seem to get knock knock jokes. Although at times it felt a bit too rehearsed for my liking it is obvious that they definitely have talent. Whatever their method is, it works.

Christy Rathbone

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