Live Review | First Aid Kit at The Tivoli Brisbane

Savannah Van Der Niet

A mere seven years have passed since Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit gained widespread acclaim for their cover of Fleet Foxes’ Tiger Mountain Peasant Song. Seven whirlwind years which have seen them become a tour de force in the country folk scene, garnering numerous music awards and playing captivating shows across the world. First Aid Kit’s performance at The Tivoli was one such show, with the duo demonstrating an ease and maturity beyond their seven years together.

First Aid Kit were joined at The Tivoli by Luluc, an Australian indie folk duo composed of Zoë Randell and Steve Hassett. With melancholy tunes featuring crunchy electric guitar and simple acoustic, Randell and Hassett’s voices blended together over their instruments in warm, restrained harmonies. Although not a stand-out, Luluc’s performance was honest and organic, and created a perfect prelude to the wistful quality of First Aid Kit’s songs.

Beginning with the single The Lion’s Roar, First Aid Kit played with an infectious vitality and passion which spread to the audience. The voices of sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg blended into one soaring whole, with the backing band of drums and pedal steel guitar providing an immaculate backdrop. Singing weary songs of lost lovers and loneliness on the road, the sisters still managed to keep the atmosphere of the show positive with occasional impromptu, conversational interactions with each other and the crowd.

The maturity of the duo was evident in both their ease on stage, and the tightness of their performance. While tossing their hair to the beat of upbeat track Blue and moving about to interact with the other members of the band during their nostalgic single Stay Gold, the sisters still managed to play and sing with flawless synergy.

Although each track was individually strong, the highlight of the show was First Aid Kit’s performance of their track Ghost Town. Stepping away from the microphones and unplugging their guitars, the sisters played the song acoustically, standing shoulder-to-shoulder at the edge of the stage. Save for the occasional guilty clinking of bottles and the gentle murmur of the audience as they hummed along, the only sound in the room came from the acoustic guitar and the ringing harmonies of the sisters. A moment of poignant intimacy and a mutual respect, the song had barely finished before the room erupted in roaring applause.

First Aid Kit continued on to play hit singles Silver Lining and Master Pretender, as well as an energetic cover of Jack White’s Love Interruption. Exiting the stage after the performance of their track Wolf, the band returned after an encore to play three more tracks including a cover of Emmylou Harris’s Boulder to Birmingham. The set finished with the cheerful single Emmylou, the crowd continuing to sing the chorus as the band exited the stage.

First Aid Kit delivered a set that was intimate, passionate, and mature. With their young age opening up the way for many more years of melancholy tunes, the future looks golden for the country folk duo.

See the photo gallery from the show here.