The Greatest Shows in History Boston, MA :: July 2010 Words by Emma Dessau
by 5342 Studios
Wolf Parade at the HOB Boston
Monday, July 12, 2010
The first time I heard “I’ll Believe In Anything,” I was volunteering at the stellar independent University of Colorado at Boulder radio station, Radio 1190. As I spent hours silently music-educating myself by indulging in the extensive indie rock collection lining the walls of station’s underground lair while simultaneously listening in on the DJs’ impressive and knowledgeable conversations, a caller requested “This Heart’s On Fire.” I remember the on-air DJ saying, “Well, we don’t have that on hand right now, but we do have this one by Wolf Parade.”
One screeching verse of “Give me! Your eyes! I need! Sunshine!” and I broke my shy silence to sheepishly ask the room where these guys came from. Though I constantly tried to hide my ignorance about indie music as a college freshman, something about the howling voices of Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug made me buck up and admit I had to know more.
Now I do know more. A lot more, in fact, including the words to every song on Apologies to Queen Mary, the wondrous lacerating crests of Krug’s vocals and Boeckner’s wailing guitar, the various side projects of these musical prodigies... the list goes on. Still, until that Monday night at the House of Blues, I did not know the pleasure of seeing the band perform live.
Learning to appreciate every oddity of Wolf Parade takes some time, but once that point is reached, there is no turning back. Their live show only cemented my admiration for their energy and musical prowess, both technical and lyrical. While Boeckner and Krug may appear the odd couple, Boeckner with his lanky tattooed arms and Krug with his teddy bear demeanor, they perform together flawlessly. The conflicting urges to stare at Krug’s spazzing back leg as he pounded on the keyboard and watch Boeckner’s fretboard at the same time were overpowered by my compulsion to jump and sing along with the rest of the enraptured crowd. The set list varied between their late June release, Expo 86, and their past two records. Though I was waiting with bated breath to scream the words to my favorites, new songs like “Yulia” and the bizarre but distinctively Krug-ified “Cloud Shadow on the Mountain” were some of the most climactic parts of the show.
Clearly, RSL is not being even remotely impartial when talking about Wolf Parade (see Ryan’s show preview ), but it is hard to present a band you truly love as anything but, well, a band you truly love. Wolf Parade is doing something original with their music. They are never afraid to experiment with eccentric sounds nor nerdy (but awesome) lyrics and themes.
RSL Streaming Photo Album Wolf Parade World Tour 2010 - Boston
Their respect for their fans is also appreciated. Once a band is big enough to play House of Blues, it is easy to lose that sense of connection at a live show. However, Wolf Parade’s gratitude for the crowd on Tuesday was comforting and telling: Though these guys will only get bigger from here, they still just seem to love to play music with each other and for their ever-growing mass of fans.
Looking back upon the X-Files television series (1993-2002, Chris Carter) one is left with the indelible impression that this series was one of the greatest adventures on modern television. Inside humor and cool, ambivalent acceptance of the weird made the program a reoccurring part every hip American's TV diet. What will it be this time though? Bold and Mysterious or Instant Nostalgia?
The show's alternating subject matter - aliens, bizarre mutations, shadow governments, hacker geeks, the occult, ancient bugs, liver-eating monsters and insane clowns - were bizarre enough, and somehow through the show's use of foreshadowing and achieving maximum-disbelief, we learned to take this weirdness in-stride. Certainly without the X-Files, so the other oddball TV and movie stories we have seen come forth wouldn't be there.. Bonus: The music from the series was both cutting edge and eclectic. That's always the clincher for me if I'm sitting on the edge. The return of the show's two stars provides fans with acres of back-story and dynamics to work with. Looking forward to X-Files breaking all kinds of invisible boundaries. It looks like the Smoking Man will return! Here's the teaser..