Wild Beasts’ Warm The Bowery Ballroom on a Cold, Cold Night

March 1st, 2010

Wild Beasts – The Bowery Ballroom – February 25, 2010

Wild Beasts
“The snow had piled up knee high in the street,” is a line from Wild Beasts’ song “Two Dancers.” And as multi-instrumentalist Tom Fleming sang these words with wintry mounds surrounding The Bowery Ballroom, the music and band seemed to connect deeper with each moment. A sold-out crowd braved the elements to attend the show and Wild Beasts recognized this, abundantly thanking their minions. However, dedication alone did not draw a capacity crowd. On Friday night, Wild Beasts demonstrated that their performance is worthy of passionate devotion.

Since the release of their sophomore album, Two Dancers, Wild Beasts have been busy garnering accolades and touring extensively. Critics deservedly praise the British band’s recent record for its accessibly unique sound and varied vocal stylings. Frontman Hayden Thorpe employs an impressive falsetto and medieval-sounding countertenor, while Fleming croons with a strong baritone. The combination of their incredible voices with support from a tight rhythm section and spellbinding guitar work continues to attract fans across the globe.

Following a spirited performance from Canadian indie rockers Still Life Still, Wild Beasts took the stage with romantic poetry announcing their arrival. Thorpe built upon the theatrics already set in place by serenading the audience with Two Dancers’ opening track, “Fun Powder Plot.” During the show, Thorpe and Fleming continuously traded guitar, bass and keyboard duties, though Thorpe’s guitar seemed to malfunction toward the middle of the set. However, the band rebounded seamlessly, and the crowd erupted at the first snare hit of Two Dancers’ triumph, “All the King’s Men.” For an encore, Fleming chillingly belted out “The Devil’s Crayon” from their debut album, Limbo, Panto, and Two Dancers’ album closer, “The Empty Nest.” Although those in attendance had to trek back into the cold once the show ended, fans could look forward to the warmth of home and Wild Beasts repeated on headphones. —Jared Levy