In concert: The Soundtrack of Our Lives
By Dave McKenna
Ebbot Lundberg made for a fine ambassador of Swedish rock, as the trippy and funny frontman of The Soundtrack of Our Lives led the Goteberg quintet through a mostly unplugged Thursday set at the House of Sweden, a swanky events center run by the Embassy of Sweden.
The crowded concert room, located on the Potomac River just east of Georgetown, had the ambiance of a VFW Hall done up in IKEA, with its low ceiling and ergonomic chairs scattered about. TSOOL is normally an electric guitar-based outfit that borrows from both ’70s arena acts, with power chords and hand claps that recall Bachman Turner Overdrive, and more modern neo-retro combos (“The Passover” and “Flipside,” the latter from the recent CD, “Communion,” could be Oasis cuts). For this show, only the keyboards and bass were electrified. But the band’s melodies, psychedelicity and even its brawn, particularly on the fist-pump inciting “Sister Surround,” came through despite the format change.
(TSOOL channels Jim Morrison, after the jump.)
The lower volumes did make for a different sort of TSOOL experience: On “Just a Brother,” with Lundberg accompanied by Martin Hederos’s droning organ,” the band sounded more like the Doors than it should. And the chi-chi setting, and the early hour the show went off (TSOOL was scheduled to play a set later the same night at the Black Cat) may have caused Lundberg, a jolly giant with a physique like Jim Morrison circa his gone-to-seed period, to work with less abandon than in previous local appearances. There were fewer ironic Messiah poses this time around, for example, and none of his normal joyous leaps into the audience.
But Lundberg was nevertheless a joy to behold. He refused to let the track lighting shining in his eyes or the unwanted feedback squeals occasionally coming through the PA system kill his or the crowd’s buzz. He soldiered on with a huge smile, as a good rock ambassador should.
February 19, 2010; 1:55 PM ET
Categories: In concert | Tags: The Soundtrack of Our Lives
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