All Grown Up, First Aid Kit Returns to Los Angeles

First Aid Kit, photographed by Lauren Dukoff
First Aid Kit, photo by Lauren Dukoff

It had been far too long since First Aid Kit last played in Los Angeles. Naturally, they were received with numerous shout-outs and even some Swedish chatter by a very enthusiastic audience at the Theater at the Ace Hotel on Thursday night.

The duo, sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg, seemed equally excited, complementing the venue, the city, the audience and joking about being so happy that they’re unable to even play music. Of course, they did play music, lots of it and fine as ever, including a couple of new songs, such as their new release “It’s a Shame” and the unreleased “Fireworks.”

Although the sisters came across as having very different personalities, with Klara’s bouncy cheerfulness and Johanna’s confident coolness, the two still complimented each other in that perfect balance – as did their immaculate voices.

But the duo has also changed. These girls aren’t just all sweet anymore. In fact, they aren’t girls any longer, they have grown into two strong and impressive women. You could see them unleash their inner rockstar with some serious head banging to “The Lion’s Roar.” But most telling, their approach to songwriting has become more mature, reflecting less innocence and more authenticity. Life experience has made their songs more personal with some very relatable and on-point messages.

Not afraid to speak out and take a stand for women – and very apropos of the current Harvey Weinstein scandal – the Söderberg sisters played “You are the Problem Here,” written about a rape case at Stanford University, where the offender only received a six-month sentence for raping an unconscious woman. Angry and loud they yelled the line “I hope you fucking suffer” in the microphone. Reminding us that the problem lies in the system, not just Hollywood, but also current politics, the song was met with applause, cheers and fist bumps.

However political at times, that is not to say that the sisters don’t have fun anymore. Quite the contrary: playful as ever, they marched forehead to forehead across the stage and when it came to introducing their band members, they chose to do so in a very theatrical and entertaining way. And to adhere to tradition, they played an a cappella song at the end of their set – no instruments, no microphones, just two angelic voices.

First Aid Kit will be touring the U.S. and Canada until mid February. To see their exact tour dates, head over to their website: firstaidkitband.com.

About The Author

As a contributing editor for Blank Newspaper, Michaela shares Blank's love for all genres of music. After ten years on the Nashville music scene, you can now find her hopping around LA's various music venues and bars in search for the next big story. Michaela has been with Blank Newspaper since 2013 and she currently covers shows in Los Angeles as well as several annual music festivals around the country.

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