The best export from Sweden since chocolate came to Philadelphia on Feb. 27. The sweets in question were The Sounds and the Fury, comprised of lead songstress, Maja Ivarsson, with Felix Rodriguez on guitar, Johan Bengtsson on bass, Jesper Anderberg on synthesizers and Fredrik Nilsson on drums.
The Theatre of the Living Arts was packed full of young enthusiasts ready to scream, clap and dance around when the 80s-inspired band hit the stage.
“Are you ready to hear some hits?” Ivarsson asked after their first song, quickly alleviating any fears of new material by hollering, “Because that’s all we’re gonna play!” The Sounds took to the stage like Paris Hilton takes to the spotlight: bright-eyed and ready for action. It’s no wonder The Sounds have so many adoring fans.
The Sounds give their fans what they want, served with a heavy side of vulgar hand movements and innuendos. Although seeing girls taking over the front positions in bands is great, seeing up Ivarsson’s skirt the entire night is not.
Ivarsson has enough energy to fuel a jet and lets everyone know it. “I was born ready, motherf***er,” Ivarsson screamed in between songs, shortly before giving all of her admirers the middle finger for several minutes.
From standing on top of the drum kit, squeezing her bandmate’s butts, to provocatively placing her microphone on her body, Ivarsson exudes a sexual aura thick enough to slice with a knife.
The Sounds echo the 80s in every aspect. From their electronic beats mixed with their look and presence on stage. Ivarsson kicks, jerks and dances like she took lesson from Cindy Lauper.
Anderberg, the man behind the synthesizer, was also note-worthy. He played two keyboards perpendicular to each other, with amazing talent. The magnetic energy and charisma between each band mate helped to make the experience feel like you were watching best friends play around on stage.
Another highlight was a rhythm drum solo during the last song of their set. Rodriquez and Anderberg kept the song going while they rocked out on a set of electronic drums, while Nilsson helped keep the beat. It was the perfect end to the show, leaving their screaming fans wanting more until they returned for the encore.
The opening band, Kill Hannah, was also quite impressive. They are five guys in ripped shirts and more eye makeup than Tammy Faye-Baker, but they know how to rock a crowd. Being an opening band is sometimes hard, but these guys took over and showed the crowd how they do it. With each song played, the crowd, whose aesthetics mirrored the talent, shoved closer to the stage.
Throwing their hands in the air, and dancing to the music, this opening band knows how to win over fans. They also stayed after their set to sign autographs and meet fans. Kill Hannah’s instrumental talent was impeccable. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the next time they played at the TLA they were headlining their own tour.
The TLA is a great venue for a show, especially for performers who are ready to have a good time with their fans. It’s an intimate place, and Kill Hannah and The Sounds proved just that.
Andrea Reich can be reached at email@example.com