LIVE REVIEW: Wolf Parade @ Fillmore
Wolf Parade are the kings of soulful rock. Wolf Parade rule. Long live Wolf Parade.
Now that the idol worship is out of the way, it’s time for some serious journalism: Wolf Parade was so awesome at their stop at the legendary auditorium in our fog city. Listening Party sounded exceptional opening the show, but the buzz for the headliner was crazy.
The guys came to the stage for a soundcheck and the fans started cheering the tune up, which brought a smile and some embarrassment to guitarist/co-vocalist Dan Boeckner. After a short delay, the band was back and opened the set with “Grounds for Divorce” from 2005′s classic Apologies to the Queen Mary. It was a fun start and a surprise. There was talk before the set within the audience that the boys may try to blast through the new record in its entirety, mostly, in part because of the band insisting that there be no singles and that the new record exists as a singular unit.
It’s not at all what happened. Instead we were treated to a Nadal/Federer rally between the two frontmen Boeckner and Spencer Krug. Boeckner responded to Krug’s “Divorce” with “Soldiers Grin,” the first track on At Mount Zoomer. The crowd got wild and jumped along to Boeckner’s exceptional guitar work and Arlem Thompson’s percussion.
Back and forth, the guys traded their impressive tracks. The songs from the new album popped with energy, while the songs from Apologies to the Queen Mary hit super hard, especially “You are a Runner and I am my Fathers Son” and “I’ll Believe in Anything” (both by Krug).
Boeckner is much more of a classic frontman than he used to be, and seems to embrace it. His energy really takes it up a notch during his songs. “Language City” and “Fine Young Cannibals” had the audience captivated, as he spit furiously and literally onto the mic.
The main complaint I have heard about At Mount Zoomer has been the fewer harmonies than Apologies to the Queen Mary, but the guys completely backed each other live vocally, which gave the songs more depth. The only song co-written by Krug and Boeckner on the new album “Kissing the Beehive” ended the first set before the encore and provided a thrilling peek into what Wolf Parade could be if it were more of a collaborative effort. It’s a little messy, but organic and more powerful and immediate than the guys do when writing solo. It was goose bump inducing as the nine-minute tracked went through its peeks and valleys with both men sounding their best. Long Live Wolf Parade.