Scene: SOLD OUT! Crowd was largely college students just back from summer with a smattering of late twenty and thirtysomethings. Definately a different vibe than had the show been in Denver but people were really excited for the show and the energy in the venue was great.
Opener: Frog Eyes. Wolf Parade Keyboard player, Spencer Krug’s other band. I knew almost nothing about these guys and was pleasantly surprised. Their lead singer (Carey Mercer) posseses an almost superhuman energy and passion for performing. Looking like his preshow routine includes downing about 10 cups of jet black coffee Mercer sings through tons of distortion and effects creating an almost dreamlike soundscape of words, yodels and other vocal stylings that layered beautifully on top of the bands high energy fast paced pop punk sound. It is clear that these guys have the energy and passion to make a great record, now I just have to get one and see how the energy comes across in the studio. Overall a great opening set from Frog Eyes.
Wolf Parade: I got an email from a friend of a mine a couple of weeks ago that said “Wolf Parade: These guys hit their instruments so hard.” It’s true . . . it is a loud show that is short on subtlety. While the sound in the Fox is generally amazing, I lost some of the lyrics during the Wolf Parade set. It was almost as if the vocals weren’t high enough in mix or maybe everyone else on stage was just making too damn much noise. That being said these guys put on a solid show. Clocking in at 1 hour it was on the shorter side, but then again, what can you expect from a band with only one album. In addition to You Are A Runner and I am My Father’s Son, Modern World, Shine A Light and Dinner Bells (with help from Frog Eyes) from the Apologies to the Queen Mary CD they also tried out a couple of new songs. In general the new material was solid but Krug’s experiments on the acoustic guitar left a little to be desired. Using it as more of a percussion instrument than a guitar I think the bands sound is better off if he sticks to the keys where he clearly adds depth to the sound.
While clearly influenced by fellow Montrealers The Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade lacks the majesty of The Arcade Fire in both sound and performance at this point.
Wolf Parade are on the rise, they are a young band with good songs, lots of energy and a solid fan base. If they can clean up their live sound a little bit I think they will capitalize on all the buzz and stick around for a bit.
Stage Presence: B
Set/Light Show: C-
Overall Rating: B