Tag Archives: Charles Steinberg

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The Radio Dept. Make It Seem Effortless at The Bowery Ballroom

March 9th, 2017

The Radio Dept. – The Bowery Ballroom – March 8, 2017

The Radio Dept. – The Bowery Ballroom – March 8, 2017
The Radio Dept. speak the wispy language of dream pop, straddling the spaces between badass and poignant, in the middle of My Bloody Valentine jacked up on something and Stereolab with highlights of ’80s-synth sentimentality à la Pet Shop Boys. There’s no question the band’s influences are long and distinguished, it’s just that because of the inflection and swerve, you only hear them. Last night the benevolent Swedes graced The Bowery Ballroom with a methodically expert set. Select songs from their catalog of rock electronica dating back to 2001 were played as an almost continuous DJ set come to life. Their return to New York City promised a devoted turnout, and the room was filled with fans spanning from old faithful to newly enchanted.

“Sloboda Narodu,” the glorious tribal synth anthem from last year’s Running out of Love, opened the proceedings, immediately putting the crowd in the palm of the band’s hands, which were steady as a surgeon’s. A self-assuredness propelled the performance, with members handling their contribution to each song like a tactician whose measures are second nature. This amounted to a natural flow, with attendees instinctually following along. More than anything, the Radio Dept. just wanted to jam—that much was evident. They’ve never been afraid to embellish in flowing blankets of up-tempo, electronically contoured instrumentation. This holds true onstage, and as they leaned into every groove, the Radio Dept. made it seem effortless.

Sometimes frontman Johan Duncanson sounded like Euro contemporary Markus Acher of the Notwist. The messages of political awareness were there yet felt like they were absorbed subliminally, in hushed expression that blended into the nebulous formations of sound. You’re reminded of the import of content amidst the spell they cast when Duncanson momentarily mentioned, “This next one is called ‘Death to Fascism.’” The Radio Dept. quite simply have a knack for pushing out immaculate, steady and uninterrupted rhythms whether on record or onstage. And last night’s winding journey through more than 15 years of vibrant, animated music was a gratifying retrospective. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Hamilton Leithauser’s Remarkable Friday Night in Williamsburg

February 27th, 2017

Hamilton Leithauser – Music Hall of Williamsburg – February 24, 2017

Hamilton Leithauser – Music Hall of Williamsburg – February 24, 2017
Call it New York City’s other sold-out Hamilton show, although this one showcases not a rapping founding father but one of the best voices in rock right now, the strained high range of Hamilton Leithauser’s, which will catch you off guard with its sheer power. “I use the same voice I always had,” he belted out in the closing lines of “Sick as a Dog,” the opener on Friday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. It was the first display of his voice in full force, firing off like the starting pistol for a remarkable night of music, the second of three local sold-out shows. Multi-instrumentalist and collaborator Rostam Batmanglij, Eric Harvey of Spoon, Greg Roberts and Stephen Patterson of White Rabbits—whom Leithauser had met touring over the years with his previous band, the Walkmen—joined the frontman.

They sounded like they’ve been playing together forever, a band perfectly suited for Leithauser and Batmanglij’s bluesy rock songs that fit perfectly well within the American songwriting canon. “If the man that you need honestly wasn’t me, tell me honey who could that be?” sang Leithauser in a desperate pleading voice over a wavering organ. With its lush sound, his 12-string took the slow-building “In a Black Out” from simmer to a boil and back to a simmer. He told the audience a story about attending a wedding where the father of the bride made a toast and broke out into “Wild Mountain Thyme.” Apparently an awkward affair for everyone else at the wedding, Leithauser fell for the guy in the moment, writing the tender song “The Bride’s Dad” from the father’s perspective. Knowing the song’s background set an incredibly vivid scene of the affair.

The catchy “1,000 Times” followed with hundreds of voices joining in for the chorus. Free-jazz saxophone and Batmanglij’s piano rambling like a rolling river closed out the set with “Rough Going (I Won’t Let Up).” Leithauser’s wife, Anna Stumpf, and the opener, Lucy Dacus, came out for an encore performance of the dreamy “1959.” If the Walkmen were the first act of Leithauser’s career, this collaboration is a hell of a second act, one that shouldn’t see a curtain call anytime soon. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Mogwai’s Message Is Impossible to Ignore at Town Hall on Sunday

January 30th, 2017

Mogwai – Town Hall – January29, 2017

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I can’t speak for the rest of the audience that packed Town Hall last night to bear witness to Mogwai perform their score for the documentary Atomic, Living in Dread and Promise, but anyone with any amount of identification whatsoever with humanity had to have been leveled. The 2015 documentary directed by Mark Cousins strung together archival footage of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, the disasters of Chernobyl and Fukushima, and the Three Mile Island accident, also showing the subsequent protests and revelations of the Cold War era. Mogwai performed their score for the film live to close out the Edinburgh International Festival in 2016, and have been touring with it through North America to begin 2017. With an equally impressive magnitude of output and precision of timing, they played in lockstep with the large-screen projection of the film above and behind them last night. Two touring members joined the band’s core, guitarist Stuart Braithwaite, keyboardist Barry Burns and drummer Martin Bulloch.

I think I can unequivocally say, without hyperbole, that I’ve never before been impacted by art’s power to alter consciousness, both in the aspect of being sensationally evocative and also provocative of motivation. It quickly got to a point where my eyes were fixated on the utterly devastating footage of the by-products of the inception of atomic energy. The band appeared to just dissolve into the surrounding darkness. At times during the breaks in the score that made audible the remarks of people who lived during that time and dealt directly with its consequences, all onstage seemed as though they were bowing their heads in memory and silence. The music brought together an ensemble of electric guitar, keyboards and drums in one massive, scorching onslaught, blowing up the normal paradigm of the concert experience. It was no place for children or those faint of tolerance.

In my opinion, Mogwai have now passed into a rarified class of musicians who recognize the influence harnessed in their compositions and find applications to a cause larger than their own. The performance was all the more disquieting now that we are all that much closer to something going disastrously and irreparably wrong. Our newest president and anyone remotely associated with nuclear proliferation should be strapped down and made to see this show. Absolutely, Mogwai’s performance of Atomic is an agent for a message with enormous significance, escorting it to a place where it is impossible to ignore. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly

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Plaid – Music Hall of Williamsburg – January 27, 2017

January 30th, 2017

Plaid - Music Hall of Williamsburg - January 27, 2017

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Wild Beasts – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 14, 2016

November 15th, 2016

Wild Beasts - Music Hall of Williamsburg - November 14, 2016

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Beach House Make Themselves at Home at Kings Theatre

November 4th, 2016

Beach House – Kings Theatre – November 3, 2016

Beach House - Kings Theatre - November 3, 2016

With a wake of classic albums behind them (two in 2015), it’s hard to pinpoint any one period in Beach House’s history and call it their peak. Are we there now? Their show on Thursday at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn made for the case that we are, taking over the night with a full band firing on all cylinders. Things kicked off with the beautifully ethereal “Levitation,” an appropriate beginning: Let’s take you up on a journey into this wondrous universe this band’s built. “You should see there’s a place I want to take you/ When the train comes I will hold you,” sang Victoria Legrand.

There’s no better voice to float above their music than Legrand’s, with her chameleonic ability to stretch her voice as needed. For the fiery rendition of “Walk in the Park,” she worked her way up to a near scream for the final lines of “More, you want more, you tell me!” But rather than ending in a fade-out, the song finished by exploding into itself, a call for some universal goose bumps as Legrand’s voice hung in the echo. “Heart of Chambers,” off 2008’s Devotion, carried on like a shape-shifting ballad, benefiting from some added instrumentation to help the song wax and wane through its lovesick lines.

During “Space Song,” Beach House gloriously filled the moments between the synth arpeggiator, a perfect mix of organic meets the mechanical, while the simmering build of “Elegy to the Void” worked its way up to a stampede, with drums kicking and guitars screaming once the song ratcheted up to a sprint. Kings Theatre, in all its ornate grandeur, made for the perfect home for Beach House’s expansive sound to reverberate every which way. At the same time, their music lives in its own world, always reaching for the stars. Count yourself lucky to live there for one night. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Animal Collective Deliver in Spectacular Form at Terminal 5

November 3rd, 2016

Animal Collective – Terminal 5 – November 2, 2016

Animal Collective – Terminal 5 – November 2, 2016
There’s only one thing that could have competed with the Cubs finally winning the World Series (in extra innings of the seventh game, no less) last night and that was seeing Animal Collective do a serious deep dive at Terminal 5. For one thing, there’s the instinctively staggered vocal interplay between Avey Tare and Panda Bear, whose bird calls from an alternate universe boomerang in and out of one another’s in transfixing patterns. For another, there’s the fortitude of recreating and reshaping their recorded material with peerless imagination—and there are like nine other things that leave you speechless, a happy party to the wild rumpus that gradually builds into a human wave.

Terminal 5 turned into an aquarium of the rolling, swimming Animal Collective faithful last night, an ideal setting for the almost unfathomable set that drew broadly from their discography of distinct aural treasures now 13 years in the making. The wonderfully wacky impressionist art onstage immediately let you know who you were there to see, and older songs from masterpiece albums like Sung Tongs, Feels and Merriweather Post Pavilion filtered in to the set list. It all played like a warped journey into the group’s projected creativity, marvelous departures that danced and floated like a laundry line of sheets in the winds of their fancy. Particularly entrancing were long, winding plays of “Loch Raven,” which sent all into dreamland, and an electro-dub-warped variation of the originally acoustic “Kids on Holiday.” It’s really up in the air with a live Animal Collective set: There’s no telling from which corner of an album or obscure EP they’ll pull a song to play—or how the version will unfold and materialize.

The crowd was putty in Animal Collective’s hands by the time “FloriDada” hopped into the fold, sheets of vibrant light momentarily revealing a sea of swirling bodies. Through an expansive and extended performance, Avey Tare was the vocal intermediary, periodically checking in and engaging with playful banter. And when the band answered the enthusiastic roar for an encore, he let out a giggle of surprise and humility at the prolonged cheers. He, Geologist and Panda Bear delivered in spectacular form. Only when experiencing a show so voluminous do you recognize how much it transcends ordinary concert experiences. Expectations were toyed with and convention scattered like puzzle pieces and then placed in new order to reveal the land of their design, where colors and characters are at once deceptive and familiar. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Preoccupations Let Their Music Do the Talking at Warsaw on Friday

October 17th, 2016

Preoccupations – Warsaw – October 14, 2016

Preoccupations – Warsaw – October 14, 2016
Preoccupations emerged from the shadows on Friday night before a Warsaw crowd that turned out to welcome their return. The battle-tested group from north of the border performed in Brooklyn to shed the ignominy of their former name, Viet Cong. Due to outcry over its sociopolitical significance, the Canadian quartet’s name has changed, but the sound that rippled through the alternative-music sphere last year has not. Quietly poised and locked in, the four members were eager to let their music do the talking—the only statement necessary. Lovers of post-punk delivered in an impressive balance of force, detail and cohesion got what they come for. Enough was said and then some.

The stalwart standout numbers “Continental Shelf” and “Death” from their universally lauded Viet Cong traded punches with bracing songs from the new record—a second self-titled album, albeit with a different name than the first one—including “Degraded” and “Memory,” which sent the room into blissful, uninhibited frenzy, with moshers flailing about like wild animals beneath a full moon. There’s an appreciation that forms from watching four people who clearly enjoy playing with one another. It’s as if their bond was forged further by the travails of the past couple of years.

Now it’s clear that Preoccupations are just happy to be back performing for their fans, all unintended political views aside. The band plays with total absorption in the atmosphere they conjure, and the audience’s response is incidental. One gets the sense that Preoccupations would play with the same amount of focus and passion to an empty room. But on Friday, the room was full and their presence was rewarded in great measure. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Devendra Banhart – Rough Trade NYC – September 23, 2016

September 26th, 2016

Devendra Banhart - Rough Trade NYC - September 23, 2016

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Car Seat Headrest Prove Why They’re a Hot Ticket

September 16th, 2016

Car Seat Headrest – The Bowery Ballroom – September 14, 2016

Car Seat Headrest – The Bowery Ballroom – September 14, 2016
Playing the first of two sold-out shows in New York City this week—with a breakout album in tow—Car Seat Headrest are certainly a band of the moment. Before they got a chance to show the Thursday night Bowery Ballroom crowd why they’re a hot ticket right now, something that might be “what’s next,” in the form of Lucy Dacus and her band, got the evening going. Hailing from the recent hotbed of great music and indie-rock personalities, Richmond, Va., Dacus combined her unique voice, terrific songs and musicians with the propensity to kick out the rock. Songs from her own breakout album, No Burden, like “I Don’t Want to Be Funny Anymore” and “Troublemaker Doppelgänger,” took new life onstage to the audience’s delight.

After a quick changeover, the room now filled to capacity, the headliners began with frontman Will Toledo solo on “Way Down,” a two-chord-ish slow-burner with a repeated chorus. The opener’s simplicity was a bit of a tell on the rest of a set filled with songs that seemed straightforward punky lo-fi on the surface but proved to be filled with interesting complications and fun developments. Indeed, when the band joined in for what Toledo later described as a “reinterpretation” of “Cosmic Hero,” off of Teens of Denial, there was plenty more than met the eye. The tune flitted through multiple sections of varying intensity, Ethan Ives’ bass crunching throughout, eventually coughing up a single, almost perfectly realized chorus of the Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane” midway through.

“Fill in the Blank,” up next, was all it took to completely enrapture the crowd, which exploded in a full-throated sing-along and pogoed with bounding energy that reached to the back of the room. The band successfully brought down things a couple of times, like on “Maud Gone,” but they were at their best on numbers like “Destroyed by Hippie Powers,” with its two-guitar mayhem and cross-rhythmic drumming. Between songs, Car Seat Headrest returned a few times to a fun “ask the band” shtick, answering questions posed to them online such as “Why does [drummer] Andrew Katz like toilet humor?” The set ended as it began, Toledo solo with just his voice and guitar, a subtle punctuation to close out a wonderfully rambling paragraph of a set. Returning for an encore, they finished with another rager. It was called “Something Soon,” but Car Seat Headrest are undoubtedly something right now. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Frankie Cosmos Charm Hometown Crowd at The Bowery Ballroom

August 8th, 2016

Frankie Cosmos – The Bowery Ballroom – August 6, 2016

Frankie Cosmos – The Bowery Ballroom – August 6, 2016
Greta Kline is the type of person you want as a friend. The kind you might expect to find in a sequel to Napoleon Dynamite, whose idiosyncrasies are endearing. This ties into her having become the lovable type of musician you gravitate toward because she has such a noticeably good time playing, and she understands that, fundamentally, a show filled with simply made tunes and played in subtle detail is intended to make you feel good. With her band, Frankie Cosmos, those intentions were carried out at The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday night, with a set of songs old and new.

This was a hometown show, so beneath Kline’ disarmingly carefree and goofy disposition were all the teeming nerves expected from playing before friends and loved ones. But they must have fed her poise because she kept in perfect step with the band throughout, bouncing between her two organically charming albums, Zentropy and the recently released Next Thing, and delicately dropping in other lesser-heard delights from an endless treasure chest of songs. Kline is a natural, or has come to sound like one from writing so much. She unspools lengths of finessed rock that are like new seedlings of Olivia Tremor Control, the Vaselines and the Moldy Peaches sprinkled generously with the friendly chord changes found in the Stone Roses, wiring though those cozily blanketed staccato bass plucks.

Frankie Cosmos played with gleeful satisfaction of where they were, soaking in the moment, before a growing number of admirers basking in the intimacy of magnetic songwriting. In a way, it felt like everyone was a special guest. Anybody who’s been on a train packed with disgruntled New Yorkers at rush hour can attest that vibes fill a space and spread between its occupants. There was a palpable vibration of warmth that grew with each song, manifested in smiling voices singing along to Kline’s amusingly transparent lyrics—and there was a little more buoyancy in everyone as they filtered out at night’s end. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly


Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Mitski Gets Right to the Point at a Sold-Out Music Hall of Williamsburg

July 28th, 2016

Mitski – Music Hall of Williamsburg – July 27, 2016

Mitski – Music Hall of Williamsburg – July 27, 2016
In the unassuming manner that parallels the approach to her craft, Mitski Miyawaki took the stage last night at Music Hall of Williamsburg with just her trusty guitar and drummer. From the sight of the sold-out crowd of onlookers tightly pressing toward the front, you’d have thought some enthralling spectacle was about to begin, yet the rapt attraction was for a lone voice that has quietly become a sensation in the indie-music universe. The quaver of that voice, tenderly riding the smartly arranged songs she’s written, had the aesthetic of nimbly skimming above the babbles and currents of her guitar, like a darting river bird just above the surface of the water. It also revealed the raw emotional investment in the conception of the lyrics it delivers—lyrics that carry things from parts of self that don’t come out in the daylight, in a voice that is speaking to people in a manner transparently identifiable and profound.

Such have been the characteristics linked to Mitski’s since she composed her first two albums as music-school projects. Now, with her newest work, Puberty 2, a personal tour de force that has everyone gushing, her songwriting’s reach has extended, firmly grabbing hold of listeners. There’s irony in the sense received that the meaning she derives from the music she plays may be greater in isolation, in an empty room and as a means to cope. But Mitski’s first address of the crowd debunked this notion: “Thank you for letting my music be part of your lives…. Thank you for giving my music meaning.”

Over steady feedback buzz running in the background, Mitski coursed through a quick set of well-chosen songs that got right to the point of her purpose. It was a reminder that amidst all of the common hoopla of live performance, the bells and whistles of display and texture and atmosphere building, all you may really need is singular emotion on a stage, communicated through a telepathic syncing of guitar-and-drum pattern. Mitski showed that engaging mixture of vulnerability with badass posturing, at one point letting down her hair as the torment of her expression reached its peak. Although these were songs distinctly from a young woman’s perspective, everyone was equally transfixed, subdued by the power of songwriting that stands on its own. Mitski is Sharon Van Etten with bruised elbows, inspiring through resilient defiance in song. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly


Photos courtesy of Julia Berke | juliaberkephoto.com

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Steve Gunn Kicks Off Tour at Home at Music Hall of Williamsburg

June 10th, 2016

Steve Gunn and the Outliners – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 9, 2016

Steve Gunn and the Outliners – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 9, 2016
Steve Gunn is a guitarists’ guitarist, much in the same way that there are comedians’ comedians (Bill Hicks, Lenny Bruce, Louis CK). He’s earned the respect and admiration of Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis, Wilco and the guy who I buy strings from in the guitar shop off Carmine St. Gunn falls somewhere on the guitar family tree under John Fahey, the legendary master of Americana ragas, and he certainly shares his ability to hold down meditative rhythms while stringing a different melody through them. That he’s able to sing on top of it all (something Fahey rarely did) makes the skill all the more impressive. Back from a recent European tour, Gunn returned home to Brooklyn—at Music Hall of Williamsburg—last night, kicking off his American tour in promotion of the excellent Eyes on the Lineshis Matador debut.

Gunn began as a guitarist for Kurt Vile’s Violators, and Vile got his own start as a guitarist for the War on Drugs. If this tradition holds up, stay tuned for an amazing debut from Jim Elkington, who embellishes Gunn’s tunes with artful twangs of his slide guitar. Elkington and Gunn proved to be impressively skilled, trading guitar solos in an epic call-and-response session off the jams of “Park Bench Smile.” Both made use of racks of guitars and a healthy number of pedals to bleed just the right sound out of their noodling. “Ancient Jules” showcased some of the finest riffs to have come out thus far in 2016, searing through a steady on-the-road flowing rhythm. Mid-set, the crowd started yelling, “More Steve!” “More Steve?” replied Gunn. “What does that even mean? Oh, turn me up?”

The set wound down with just Elkington and Gunn on acoustic guitars for a stripped-down version of the beautiful “Wildwood.” The full band returned for the encore with “Way Out Weather” with Gunn’s guitar drifting in and out of the song like a gentle breeze.
—Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Braids Take Late-Night Rough Trade NYC Crowd to the Cosmos

June 6th, 2016

Braids – Rough Trade NYC – June 3, 2016

Braids – Rough Trade NYC – June 3, 2016
After Governors Ball wound down at Randall’s Island, a generous turnout of night owls formed at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade NYC as Friday night turned into Saturday morning to be swept into the cosmos by the ambient dance rhythms of the Canadian trio Braids— everyone in the audience feeling like they were dreaming in the atmosphere of propulsive harmonics that’s become the band’s calling card. Even with the jackrabbit jungle beat that spurred their music, the effect was of gentle entrancement. Taylor Smith crafted a grand spaciousness from a small electronic sound box, giving singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston the surroundings for her voice to ascend.

Meanwhile the helicopter percussion of drummer Austin Tufts, who dived into every number like the anchor leg of a swim relay, lent the counterweight of structure and substance to the ethereality. Braids’ magnificent third album, Deep in the Iris—which won the Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year—made up the core of their performance, with new songs off their just-released EP tucked in gently. Standell-Preston’s ivory-soft vocals flowed forth effortlessly, gracefully dancing around themselves in whimsical patterns. Wondrous tunes “Warm Like Summer” and “Taste” washed over the crowd like cresting waves, giving way to pockets of contemplative sprawl, landing in between songs.

The soft blankets of interlude invoked reflection, before taking off again into the next swirl of rhythmic bliss. Braids fostered an atmosphere of dreamlike levitation in the room, one that suited the late hour. It beckoned the memories of the opening scene of Peter Pan, with the children being told that all it takes to fly is a little imagination. Braids opened that realm of dreaming to the listener and sent a roomful of fans floating off to the stars on Friday night. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Wolf Parade Reunite at The Bowery Ballroom

May 23rd, 2016

Wolf Parade – The Bowery Ballroom – May 20, 2016

Wolf Parade – The Bowery Ballroom – May 20, 2016
There have been few indie rock groups as prolific as Wolf Parade. Beginning more than a decade ago with 2005’s bellowing and brilliant Apologies to the Queen Mary and streaming outward from the original members, who never altered, have been various groups and projects all making profound marks of their own. It’s fun to see eyebrows raise when you tell people that record they’re really digging comes from one of the original Wolf Parade members. Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner, who share vocal and writing duties, counterbalance each other, completing a potent yin and yang. The former is a spell-casting, poetic songwriter, part Count Dracula, part maestro magician on the keys. The latter, a throwback rock and roller, who shreds guitar in the manner of timeless axe wielders—the type to rock a tank top and a tat of his girl’s name.

Band members feeling the pull of independent musical pursuits, Wolf Parade announced an indefinite hiatus in 2010, leaving a black hole in the alternative-rock universe. Now, perhaps fulfilled from their own endeavors and maybe feeling how much they’ve been missed—while also missing one another—they’ve come back together to a resounding five sold-out appearances at The Bowery Ballroom. The great thing about a reunion show is that the audience tends to be filled with devoted followers, many of whom are coiled like a spring, waiting to sing along and flail about to whatever specially picked fruits that make that evening’s set list. The collective electric buzz of anticipation was rewarded on Friday night with an array of crowd-rousing songs, including “You Are a Runner and I Am My Father’s Son,” “Language City,” “Grounds for Divorce,” “Oh You, Old Thing,” “Soldier’s Grin” and “I’ll Believe in Anything.”

Before that last number, Krug admitted that at one time the song was dead to him. “Then we played it the other night … it’s alive again.” That it certainly was, and its life was injected into the packed room, some revelers returning to the mosh mode of years past, one of whom had seen Wolf Parade nineteen times and was covered in tattoos of their lyrics— another had run into Boeckner outside of the venue on the street just before the show, and in exchange for a well wishes had been made the guitarist’s guest. Everyone seemed to have a story, and all of them had come to see one of their favorite bands return to play paint-peeling rock with gusto. And for five nights, their universe was made whole again. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com