The show ground to a halt with these words: "I'm afraid she's dead." Bebban Stenbourg was talking about her accordion, broken beyond repair, which meant we wouldn't be hearing "Parents' Livingroom," one of the best songs off Shout Out Louds' great new album, Our Ill Wills. It was the only misstep in what I'd have to call a truly magical show, one of those times where the setting, the crowd and the performance came together to make something special.
Spiegeltent is a very cool venue, and if there's someone you want to see there, it's worth the otherwise deadly combination of remote location (South Street Seaport), late set times (for rock shows, doors don't open till 11:30 if you're lucky) and overpriced drinks (beers are $7). The intimate venue, decorated with mirrors and brocade, holds only 350 people but I'm guessing only half that braved a late monday night to see Stockholm's Shout Out Louds, here on a short US tour two months before Our Ill Wills hits the shelves. But those who did were genuine fans, there to sing along, dance, and have a good time.
The set was about 50-50 old and new with well-worn favorites like "The Comeback," "Please Please Please" and "Shut Your Eyes" mixed in with new tracks "Tonight I Have to Leave it," "Suit Yourself," and the Bunnymen-esque "South America." Instead of "Parents Livingroom," we got a stripped-down, drum machine-driven "Hard Rain" while real drummer Eric Edman tried to fix Bebban's accordion.
The two best moments for me were new song (and current Swedish single) "Impossible" and show-closer "Very Loud," in which they worked in a cover of The Clash's "Train in Vain" for good measure. (Though singer Adam Olenius rocking the agogo on "Tonight I Have to Leave It" was up there too.) They sounded great too, as you can tell from the video below. There was a PA but to my ears it sounded like they just mainly used it for vocals, letting their amps alone which meant I didn't have to wear earplugs. This and the Peter Bjorn and John show at Union Hall are maybe the two most perfect shows of the year so far.