Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Live: Wolf Parade

No exhaustive review tonight, but I gotta say Wolf Parade is damn good - not great yet, but they probably will be and this just seems like one of those band you don't want to miss on the upswing.

I was a little surprised they packed close to 1,000 people into the Rialto, but At Mount Zoomer is a strong record to be taking out on tour. They're energetic, excellent musicians, and just fascinating to watch as they create on stage all the subtleties that give their tunes such a dense and sound.

Earlier this year with his new record, Mike Doughty talked of a concept he refers to as "Dude Theory," which is basically the idea that when you listen to the album, it comes across as the work of four guys playing music - it's easy to hear the different instruments apart from one another, there aren't a lot of overdubs or sonic layering and overall the songs are just really easy to connect to.

Wolf Parade occupies the advance end of that notion - for the first time I could really dig out all those different sounds and let the music sink in a good deal more as I watched them on stage. With the two keyboardists usually playing two keyboards apiece and two guitars as often as guitar and bass, there's just so much there. And it's a rich and often startling sound - full of musical jumps and vocal yelps and the songs crash and careen around before bending back to the hooks.

From the opening "You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son," the crowd seemed barely but perceptibly more responsive to the material from 2005's Apologies to the Queen Mary, but then again At Mount Zoomer is barely a month old (officially) and I saw plenty of people walking from the merch table with copies on CD and vinyl.

For me, the highlights were simply the highlights from the albums: "Language City" and "Soldiers Grin" from the new one and "I'll Believe In Anything" and "This Heart's On Fire" from Queen Mary. The closing "Kissing The Beehive" was an appropriately rocked out and extended jam version, and the two-song encore was just an absolute surge of energy.

I doubt Wolf Parade is a band that's hit their peak - if so, then there are two high quality records - if not, I'll take a thrill in saying "I saw them back when..."

Wolf Parade - Language City
Wolf Parade - You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son


comoprozac said...

You lucky bastard.

St said...

I'm not surprised they packed the Rialto. Their show here sold out more than a month in advance.

They've actually put out five quality records now, if you include the two side projects. I thought Handsome Furs' Plague Park was as good as WP's stuff. And Sunset Rubdown's last two full albums were solid. Not sure about the first.