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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 21 - Volume 42 Issue 47
First Aid brings warmth and beautiful sounds to Moore Theatre
Arts & Entertainment
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First Aid brings warmth and beautiful sounds to Moore Theatre

by Dru Dinero - SGN A&E Writer

As the darkness of winter rolled into Seattle on the frigid night of Saturday, November 15, two young and breathtakingly good-looking Swedish women warmed the hearts and souls of a wooled and whiskeyed sold-out crowd at the Moore Theater in downtown Seattle. With their modern country-folk, June Carter sound, First Aid Kit (comprised of Johanna and Klara SÆderberg) are two sisters who have been passed the torch to carry on the sound of those who have lived life on the rambling road. While Stockholm natives, and while having an enthralling production behind them, these two sisters have managed to capture the true essence of the romantic American countryside and the inevitable heartbreak that comes with the reality of adult life through song. In other words, a busking First Aid Kit would be an authentic and fine addition to any Interstate bus stop or train station across the U.S., and they've solidified this with the release and promotional tour of their latest Omaha-recorded studio album Stay Gold.

Samantha Crain, First Aid Kit's self-proclaimed warm-up act, started off the show with a very personal and heartfelt set. The Shawnee, OK Native confided in us with stories of her travels and inspirations behind each of her songs. Stories ranging from bar nights in Elk City, OK to Scientologists' attempt to convert her in New York City, Crain painted pictures so vivid and honest with her voice and guitar, that I could taste the beer in that Oklahoma bar and felt as if it was me who the Scientologists were trying to convert in Times Square. Although the 26-year old Crain was only on stage for a brief set, she held our attention with her tales for every single second and allowed us to feel that we really got to know a true and blue folk singer.

As the lights dimmed and the bass drum set the tone for what would be a truly golden performance, First Aid Kit took the stage in golden-glittered outfits with Klara on guitar and Johanna on keyboard. Performing hits from both of their major albums The Lion's Roar and Stay Gold, songs such as 'King of the World,' 'Wolf,' 'Silver Lining,' 'Shattered and Hollow' and more were gifted to us by not only the incredible musical talent of the two sisters, but also by their masterful drummer and their multi-disciplined guitarist who beautifully played the steel guitar and mandolin. On stage, the two sisters became serene sirens with Klara calmly hosting the show while Johanna wildly swayed her golden locks to the feeling of the music. Clearly in sync as sisters and as a band, Klara and Johanna made us feel as if we, as audience members, were family friends with their banter and conjunction.

While the assumed expectation would be to see a heavily acoustic and earthy show from First Aid Kit, the production value behind the group was a showstopper on its own. The dramatic lighting sequences, along with the choices in song placement within the set, allowed the sisters to take us on an enchanting ride in tempos, moods, and sounds.

At one point in the set, the charming sisters unplugged and lullabied 'Ghost Town' to us sans microphones. Creating a truly intimate atmosphere within the Moore through pure song, we warmly sang along with the two sisters in unison.

Leaving us with superb, high-energy drum and steel guitar solos, we cheered and begged for the candid yet highly professional group to grace us with a few more songs. They obliged and bowed out with a magnificent, fan-accompanied, performance of their hit song 'Emmylou.'

It would be unfair to say that the Swedish sisters, First Aid Kit, have only just begun to set the standard for young musicians, as they can already be easily categorized with well-seasoned international acts. The fact that they are both in their early twenties makes this group one of the most exciting up-and-coming acts of this generation. Equipped with beauty, grace and unparalleled musical talent and songwriting skills, First Aid Kit has definitely arrived and is here to stay.

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