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Live Review: First Aid Kit, The Staves: Mountford Hall, Liverpool

Live Review: First Aid Kit, The Staves: Mountford Hall, Liverpool

Sometimes Liverpool just gets it right when it comes to live music. Tonight’s sold out First Aid Kit and The Staves show was one of those occasions. Two groups at the top of their game, a respectful yet excited sold out crowd, on point production, lighting and sound. It all fell into place beautifully.

From the moment the show was announced by EVOL, to the moment Liverpool sold it out, to the moment The Staves first took to the stage with a stunning three-way acapella to stun Liverpool – it all felt right. Tonight for a couple of hours all was right in the world and although we all know that isn’t actually the case – as First Aid Kit later aluded to – it’s lovely to have that musical escapism sometimes.

Similarities in style worked a treat here. The Staves certainly weren’t lost on the 2000+ capacity crowd. First Aid Kit call them their “sisters” and that’s certainly true in many musical if not blood related ways.

These two groups compliment eachother perfectly. Autumnal vibes aplenty, especially in the case of support act The Staves who drifted us pleasantly through a 30 minute set. Featured among it was the wonderfully titled Tired As Fuck and a brilliant cover of The Whole Of The Moon by The Waterboys.

Perfectly warmed up – it was time to be blessed by the presence of First Aid Kit – remarkably making their Liverpool debut. The Swedes wasted no time and had Liverpool in awe in a matter of minutes with It’s A Shame – the single from their new album Ruins.

They then set about making you feel all warm and cosy inside with Master PretenderWolf  and absolute belter The Lion’s Roar – a track that comes across stunningly live.

30 minutes or so in things shifted to a rockier gnarly vibe with sexual assault protest song You Are The Problem Here which is absolutely fucking fantastic both in how it comes across musically live and for what it stands for.

The lyrics Klara belts out on the chorus hit hard, you hear and feel every single word: “I am a human being… You Are The Problem Here…no one made you do anything…and I…hope you fucking suffer.”

Addressing the song afterwards vocalist Klara again hit the nail on the head in a very poinant moment as Liverpool applauded every single word in unity: “This is a song we wish we didn’t feel the need to write. This is our sexual assault protest song.”

Standing a way back in the crowd, something that really hit you as the set continued on was the production for this show was absolutely brilliant; the lights, the backdrop, the mint sound.

Another thing that become clear as the set went on is just how tight the multi-cultural (Seattle, Edinburgh, Brighton) band behind the sisters is. Unreal.

Fan favourite Emmylou brought the loudest response from an ultra-respectful and loving crowd, as the Liverpool showed off their smooth soulful voices to harmonise and sing the words back.

The song that bears this tour’s name Rebel Heart and one of First Aid Kit’s main commercial success stories My Silver Lining made up a stunning encore to close a lovely show in a perfect way.

The whole First Aid Kit band then bowed on stage as Liverpool showed them the love they deserve. This was a majestic, very special show.

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Jake Marley

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