Swedish sister duo, First Aid Kit, have experienced unprecedented success in America these last couple of years with their woodsy folk/country-inspired pop music. With a modest yet hearty voice, Oklahoma-raised singer/songwriter Samantha Crain opened Thursday at the Fox Theater to kickoff the beautiful, female-dominated night.
With only a guitar to accompany her on stage, small-town Samantha Crain opened the show with her big, powerful voice. She has an absolutely lovely and slightly raspy tone which made for a peculiarly calm and raw earthy performance. It was comforting, but also rough. Deep, but also vigorous. After a set that almost seemed too short for such an amazing artist, Samantha finished up with “For The Miner” which she claims is “the whole reason I am even up here today.”
When Johanna and Klara Söderberg entered the stage with their band after a very cozy, homey opener, a mysterious vibe filled the room. With blue lights shining towards the audience in an otherwise pitch-black room and a floating electronic intro, we were all excited for what was to come. A big cheer emerged when it became clear that the first song was going to be “Lions Roar.” The aura of thrill and mystery continued as the PA-system suddenly broke down during the intro of the second song. As the band tried to keep going for a while, the crowd was supportively humming along. After a short break to recover, First Aid Kit finished “Stay Gold,” the title track from their third album released this summer.
They reinforced their golden vibe with “King Of The World,” filling the room with warmth, orange lights, and a nostalgic summer vibe. Johanna made a couple of inappropriate screams here and there, but the magic survived her seemingly feigned eccentricity. After getting the audience pumped with a couple of hits, it was time to take it down a notch. Johanna and Klara sent the guys backstage while they did a completely unplugged version of “Ghost Town,” during which the audience settled down.
First Aid Kit talked a lot about their effortless, not-so-bumpy path to fame and success. It almost seemed like a never-ending fairytale for them. They even shared an anecdote about being “discovered” by Jack White in Nashville. They did a cover of his “Love Interruption” after an intended failure of “Seven Nation Army,” as a joke. In this cover it became especially evident that the duo could have really benefitted from some low ranging bass somewhere in their composition. The sound felt way too narrow for a theater as big as the Fox – there was no depth to it. There was a disjuncture between the soul-searching, desolate lyrics and such a superficial sound. Despite these drawbacks, First Aid Kit finished off beautifully with “Emmylou.” Overall, it was a very decent and pleasing act; however, the show did not quite reach expectation, and it is not completely clear if the Söderberg sisters have indeed stayed gold.
Article by Ane Skjoelaas