LIVE REVIEW: Wye Oak @ El Rey Theatre, LA 7/10/14
It had been nearly two years since Baltimore duo Wye Oak last toured Los Angeles, so we made it a priority to be in attendance Thursday night. With our curiosity meters at an all time high, wondering how the new songs would be accepted, these indie folk geniuses put our souls to rest and leaving us in awe with an inspiring and mesmerizing performance.
Opening for the band was long time friends Pattern Is Movement, the band consisting of drummer Chris Ward and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Thiboldeaux. This duo play indie rock layered with different key sounds, while Thiboldeaux’s vocals fall more on the soul R&B side, as if D’Angelo was trying his hand at indie rock. Coincidentally the band covered D’Angelo’s song “Untitled (How Does It Feel)”, which quickly grabbed the respect and attention from those in the crowd, with many cheering on Thiboldeaux’s high range of falsetto chops.
The set up between bands was rather quick, which was ok as we were all eagerly anticipating the lovely Wye Oak. Jenn Wasner quickly (and bashfully) introduced themselves and said “We’re going to play some new songs for you tonight.” Starting off with “Before”, “The Tower”, and “Shriek” which are all off of their newest release. Wasner and drummer Andy Stack looked very comfortable while preforming their new songs. Wasner played the bass as if it had always been her instrument of choice. Except for when she picked up the guitar to start play some of the older songs like “Holy Holy” and “Plains”.
The guitar playing comes so natural, whether subtly strumming or aggressively making her guitar squeal and filling the room with the sound of distorted chords, her performance was that of perfection. And one can not forget to mention Stack’s keen ability at being able to effortlessly play two instruments at one time. The task does require his full attention as could be witnessed by the deep look of concentration across his face. Littering the setlist with new and old songs both of which were received great responses from the crowd, the duo continued to impress by playing different instruments during certain songs.
During “Spiral”, Stack came from behind his drum kit to play bass, then switched to end the songs on keys. With her heart on her sleeve, Wasner shared a few different stories with the crowd, feeling humbled at the support they received during this tour. Completely immersed in their set of songs, the band increased our nostalgic feelings by performing “For Prayer” and “That I Do” off of their first official release The Knot. Keeping the mood light and friendly, Wasner hinted that if everyone cheered loud enough, they’d come out for a few more songs, joking saying, “You Know how that works!” The encore consisted of a cool Kate Bush cover of “Running Up that Hill” and the fan favorite “Civilian”. Ending the night on a high note and leaving a long lasting sense of satisfaction, one can’t help to feel privileged as if a part of a secret club, that knows of one the greatest upcoming bands that you might not being paying attention to yet.
Check out our fully photo gallery of Wye Oak and Pattern Is Movement HERE!