Report: The Concretes Live in Portland


The affable
Swedes showcased their latest album at the Doug Fir Lounge on Feb. 26, but
something was clearly lacking. North American tour continues  tonight in Vancouver.


By Tim Hinely

I had never seen Sweden’s Concretes
before and couldn’t tell from vocalist Lisa Milberg’s comments that whether it
was their first time in Portland or first time
in the States (I’m assuming she meant the former).  While the rest of the band was silent, the
friendly Milberg chatted up the crowd about our fair city, how happy they were
to be here and what there was to do tomorrow since they were going to stay here
rather than head to Seattle early.


The band hit the stage as a 6-piece with guitar/bass/drummer, two
keyboardists and the striking, icy cool Milberg up front on vocals (and
occasionally shaking her money-maker on the dancier cuts). The band has been
through quite a few changes the past few years with former vocalist Victoria
Bergstrom going solo (as Taken by Trees) and one member apparently leaving the
band to join the circus (!!??). Their latest record, WYWH, lacks the spark of earlier records, with a more
sophisticated, groove-oriented dance pop sound, and while it didn’t sound bad
on headphones, on stage it seemed to lack that specialness of the earlier
records (or what I’m guessing earlier gigs would have been like), and it seemed
the set was made up mostly of songs off WYWH.
They opened with “Good Evening” and sifted into other new cuts like the title
track, “My Ways”, “Crack in the Paint”, “I Wish We’d Never Met”, “Knck Knck”
and others. They saved the single, “All Day’ for last and then came out for a
so-so encore and called it an evening. 


Memo to the Concretes: time to regroup and decide on ways to spruce up
the live show.






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