Photos + Review | First Aid Kit + Willy Mason @ The Paradise

First Aid Kit @ The Paradise
Photos by Boston Concert Photography

[T]here was a beautiful blend of dazzling voices on the Paradise stage last Sunday night and those lucky enough to have scored a ticket to the sold-out show were treated to quite a harmonious evening. Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit were days away from releasing their third album, Stay Gold, and played a number of fantastic new songs, while Massachusetts’ very own Willy Mason hushed the rowdy all-ages crowd with an opening set that delivered a heartfelt message of hope and redemption.

It’s hard to believe that Johanna and Klara Söderberg released their debut album, The Big Black & The Blue, a mere 4 years ago. Their live performance makes it seem as though the sister act have been touring for decades. They clearly love their fans and it was quite obvious that the packed-in crowd loved them right back. Almost everyone in attendance knew every word to every song and sang along with aplomb during the more rocking numbers, while letting the sisters have their moments of peace during the hushed songs. 

The breezy setlist included only one song off the first release, the fan favorite “Ghost Town.”The rest of the sixteen song set consisted of songs from their new release including the first single, “My Silver Lining,” and the first set’s closer “Stay Gold,” as well as the sister’s critically acclaimed sophomore release, The Lion’s Roar, including all four fantastic singles, “Blue,” “Wolf,” the title track “The Lion’s Roar,” and the evening’s closing encore number (and my favorite First Aid Kit song) “Emmylou.” Throw in covers of Bob Dylan’s “One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Bellow)” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “America” and you have yourself one of the most melodically beautiful evenings imaginable. It truly was like listening to summer on stage.

West Tisbury folk rocker Willy Mason owned the stage during his opening performance, proving immediately to anyone in the crowd that might have been unfamiliar with the introspective storyteller the reason why the Söderberg sisters selected Mason themselves as their opening act for the first leg of their North American tour. His mesmerizing set included songs that spanned Mason’s impressive ten year musical career and the musician’s laid back, friendly stage presence held the audience in rapt attention. 

Mason’s last full-length album, Carry On, was released in 2012 and is a Music Savage favorite. The set included quite a few songs from said album including the sentimental “Pick Up Truck,” the rockin’ lil’ ditty “I Got Gold,” and my personal favorite “Talk Me Down.”Midway through the set Mason brought his mother, folk-singer Jemima James, on to the stage to sing the song she wrote in the seventies titled “Waiter at the Station,” which was included on his very first release, G-Ma’s Basement EP. It was touching and beautiful to see the talented family members singing together and we all swooned at the sweetness emanating from the stage. Willy Mason is the real deal folks, I highly suggest you discover his music.

Check out the fantastic shots of the good times taken by Music Savage’s super-talented photographer Steve Benoit of Boston Concert Photography