I’M NOT THERE: I’m From Barcelona, First Unitarian Church, Last Night
BY MICHAEL DONOVAN By all logic and reason, trying to cram a 29-piece band into one of Philadelphia’s smallest venues should be an awful mess. Apparently, Swedish juggernaut I’m From Barcelona does not listen to logic or reason — or maybe it just gets lost in translation — because Thursday night the the performance performance by the 29-person Jönköping mob was nothing short of astounding. Taking the stage with upwards of 20 of his closest friends, lead singer Emanuel Lundgren wasted no time starting the party, launching into “Treehouse” from the band’s debut record. Simply playing the song wasn’t enough for Barcelona, though- along with it came about 100 yellow balloons and V.J. Day-style confetti. The energy continued throughout the rest of the set, as the band played the best from Let Me Introduce My Friends, as well as a couple of new songs (and a kickass cover of “Like a Prayer”). Their energy was so infectious, it was hard not to smile for the entire set— I tried for a little while, then gave up. Guitars, basses, keys, trumpets, saxophones, kazoos, and more filled the First Unitarian’s very small stage, as well as vocalists aplenty and hordes of the aforementioned balloons. “The Painter” was the highlight of the night–it was hard not to sing along “Don’t give up on your dreams, buddy!” with the rest of the Church. A word to the wise: the next time you plan on seeing I’m From Barcelona (which you absolutely should if you have the chance), wear a pair of bright red tights, per request of Lundgren and his gang. Because everyone loves a happy Swede, right?
[Photo by MICHAEL DONOVAN]