wolf parade [2007]

Great American Music Hall
San Francisco, CA
12 September 2007

You never want to be told by a friend, the day of a show, that the band you’re about to see put on a miserable performance just 3 weeks prior. And yet that’s exactly the situation I found myself in one overcast September day; a day, I might add, on which I woke up with great excitement, having anticipated this show for nearly 3 months.

The report from the right coast was that the fellas from Wolf Parade had come through town and just whiffed – putting together a sloppy, jam-filled set that resembled more of an extended practice session than anything else. A good deal of new material had been played, which wasn’t the problem, but it created tension with the crowd, which apparently caused band members to get nasty (both with the crowd and each other), playing older songs almost reluctantly out of obligation.

And so I arrived at the Great American prepared for the worst. What I got wasn’t bad at all. Though not as inspiring as the previous two performances I’d seen, Wolf Parade put on a damn fine show.

True to the report, a considerable amount of new material was played, but perhaps due to lessons learned previously on the tour, the new songs were mixed in with old favorites, keeping the crowd energetic and open-minded throughout.

Contrary to the report, the band was pretty tight the whole night, and though there were a few long, meandering songs, most were compact and delivered their punches quickly.

As a whole, the band was definitely less enthusiastic than in past shows. There was certainly some movement happening on the stage, but for God’s sake, Spencer Krug’s towel looked downright dry by night’s end.

All in all, a very enjoyable show. Makes me wonder about that right coast…