TVD Live: First Aid Kit at the Lincoln Theatre, 2/9

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNSThe strongest anthem for the #MeToo movement was written and released by a couple of Swedish sisters in their mid-20s, months before the Harvey Weinstein revelations in the New York Times last year. “I am so sick and tired of this world,” First Aid Kit sing, with a venom that is more spat than sung. “All these women with their dreams shattered / From some man’s sweaty, desperate touch.”

Played defiantly to electric guitar that’s closer to punk, the song “You Are the Problem Here” is so different from the rest of the music First Aid Kit usually play that after issuing it as a single nearly a year ago, the two left it off their most recent album, Ruins, that came out last month. Still, it was presented as a mid show highlight to their sold out show at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC, Saturday.

The duo of Klara Söderberg, 25 and Johanna Söderberg, 27, started more than a decade ago as teens, when they found that their harmonies matched their love of the kind of Americana and ’70s singer/songwriter era they often listened to and is reflected in exquisite tracks like “Emmylou,” which drops the names of influences like Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, June Carter and Johnny Cash in a sprightly love song. (If the Söderberg sisters knew they were in the city where Parsons first discovered Harris playing in a bar in Georgetown, they might have been excited about that).

The nod to Americana is aided by the backing of pedal steel guitar of longtime member Melvin Duffy. The addition of drums, played for the past three years by Scott Simpson, has added a more booming rock sound to First Aid Kit; it’s rounded out by Steve Moore on keyboards and trombone, which he plays more often than one might expect.

Despite the sentiment in “You Are the Problem Here,” it seems the encroachment of these older men has trapped their sound in a way; gone are the days, with just a couple of exceptions in the show, where the two voices and Klara’s accomplished finger-picking can shine on their own.

Part of the appeal about the two is that they are young and enthusiastic; they also look in their long hair and miniskirts like a couple of school girls from the 1970s. It’s left to Klara to sing lead and play guitar on most songs; Johanna adds harmony and bass; playing with such energy that she often stomps around the stage, knees high, ending up on her knees at one point.

They directly saluted bygone rock era by reviving another classic sister act, Heart, with a vibrant “Crazy on You” (with a guitar solo handled not by one of the women, though, but by Duffy.) Sisterhood is powerful, but for a duo who has brought tears to writers it has interpreted, from Paul Simon (“America”) to Patti Smith (“Walking Barefoot”) to Fleet Foxes (“Tiger Mountain Peasant Song”), the selection of Heart as their sole cover was sort of a rung below.

The great thing about First Aid Kit is that they don’t have to rely on covers to advance their career, from “The Lion’s Roar” and “Wolf” to “My Silver Lining.” Their new songs, too, further their yearning for travel and truth in “Fireworks,” “It’s a Shame” and the new album’s title track.

They brought another man into the mix, opener Van William, to do a song they sang on for his new EP, “Revolution.” But rather than him invading their encore, perhaps they should have come out to back him during his quite excitable opening set with his trio.

Rebel Heart
It’s a Shame
King of the World
Stay Gold
The Lion’s Roar
You Are the Problem Here
To Live a Life
Crazy on You
Nothing Has to Be True

Hem of Her Dress
Master Pretender
My Silver Lining

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