Monday, July 14, 2008

Review: Wolf Parade @ Neumos (7-14-2008)

photo cred to Laura Musselman

Coming off the weekend with an excellent show, Wolf Parade treated its label-town with yet another great live show, this time with the help of Shawnigan Lake's Listening Party, and labelmate Foals...

Listening Party got things off great with a nice, short set. Next on the schedule was Foals. This was the first time I had seen them live (I missed their Neumos show last month) - but this Oxford five-piece put on an kick-ass set. While the lead singer may be suffering from a Napoleon complex, the chip on his shoulder didn't seem to effect his performance - maybe even enhanced it. And openers go, Wolf Parade couldn't have asked for a better act to pump up the crowd. Something about Foal's new wave dance grooves really got the whole Neumos crowd moving (crowd surfing in Seattle?? Unheard of...) After Foals closed their set with a juiced-up version of "Red Socks Pugie", Wolf Parade was quickly on stage setting up their gear.

Kicking the set off, Spencer announced that the song he was about to sing was a "dead song": the band hadn't played it live in over 2.5 years. Apparently "Stuart" at Sub Pop Records had bugged Spencer to play the song every time they've toured Seattle. So with that, the crowd was treated with the rarely heard "Grounds for Divorce." After the song was over, Spencer told the not-so-fired-up listeners, "That's why we don't play that song! Now we will begin the actual show..." With that said, the band broke into 3 new songs, followed by "I Am My Father's Son". Surprisingly to me, "Grey Estates" got more reaction from the crowd than "Language City" or "Call It A Ritual". True GE is the closest thing to a radio single from At Mount Zoomer, but it's the weakest track on the album, right? Am I crazy here?

The crew seemed to be in a good mood, and played all of their new songs except for "Bang Your Drum" - I was a little disappointed since I haven't heard this song played live yet. Plenty of old favorites were played too (unfortunately no "Modern World"). "Kissing the Beehive" finished the the first set off in true style - that song kicks ass. The encore was a three-song farewell, ending with "Fancy Claps". All in all, Wolf Parade has again treated Seattle with yet another fantastic show. Is it just me, or do the live versions of At Mount Zoomer sound incredibly better than the studio tracks? The raw energy was lost somewhere in the whole recording process, in my opinion. Nevertheless, a great way to start the week off, that's for sure.

Pictures from the night can be seen here: (photo cred to Laura Musselman).

Grounds for Divorce
Language City
Call It A Ritual
Grey Estates
I Am My Father's Son
Soldier's Grin
Animal In Your Care
Fine Young Cannibals
Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts
Shine a Light
California Dreamer
This Heart's On Fire
Kissing the Beehive

It's a Curse
I'll Believe In Anything
Fancy Claps