Wolf Parade at First Avenue, 7/18/10
|Photos by Steve Cohen|
July 18, 2010
Fresh off the heels of a stellar performance in Union Park as part of the Pitchfork Music Festival this past weekend, and in what many have claimed was the highlight of the hipster mecca, Wolf Parade stopped on by the First Avenue mainroom Sunday night to allow those of us without enough money or willpower to travel to Chicago a chance to see a band which has grown to define indie-rock and the good country of Canada.
What started as a haphazardly spaced crowd somehow managed to fill in pretty well for a Sunday night, a detail Krug and Boeckner consistently brought up as they thanked the audience for being there in between every song. Did they not expect a good turnout? I mean hell, they had three sponsors for this thing: MFR, Vita.mn, and Radio K. Whatever, let's not think about that because they are starting off their set with one of the best album openers of all time, "You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son," a song which alternately pissed me off and made me feel on top of the world in high-school. Krug is barking his trademark yelp and everyone is freaking out. We all know within 15 seconds that this one-and-a-half hour show is going to be brilliant.
|Photos by Steve Cohen|
By this point, in a turn of events for some First Ave. shows, the crowd managed not to be a bunch of poopers and were beyond appreciative of the four guys rocking out on the stage. In what was one of the tightest performances I have seen in a long while, and not in a dreadfully boring way like Grizzly Bear (yes, pan me for that one), fans of Wolfy we're going crazy over every part of this performance, consistently screaming "We love you!" They all looked humbled that's for sure. We Minnesotans know how to treat a band that we love well.
A seriously epic "California Dreamer" was the last song of their set which led to a two song encore that I don't remember because a) Everyone was still freaking out, and b) A 3-4 minute jam session progressed at the end which every member somehow managed to finish in unison and further made the audience loose their shit.
Further observations included Arlen Thompson on drums not having to be all that showy to illustrate he knows how to drum and do it well. His beats filled up that room without him hardly moving. Also refreshing to note is the general lack of the band having to perform lavishly with intricate backdrops and props in order to get the crowd to care like most one-hit wonder indie acts these days. These guys know their sound and they beat it into the ground with miraculous results.
Personal Bias: I grew up with Apologies to the Queen Mary and believe it as one of the albums which got me back into music.
The Crowd: Early 20s, about to enter the real world/already there and are poor. Flannel. Dirty Midwestern. Great people who stuck with this band as they went through their formidable years.
Overheard: "I forgot my ID at home, I swear to God."
Random Dump: Nice Devo visuals on the screen including the video for "Whip It" and an animated cockroach playing the drums on a hippo's tooth.
Set Time: 90 minutes