Friday, August 13, 2010

Wild Beasts Played The Highline Ballroom - Pictures, Review, Video, Setlist

On Wednesday night we stopped in to the Highline Ballroom to catch up with Wild Beasts as they visited New York yet again on the strength of their killer record Two Dancers. The band were joined by fellow Europeans Lone Wolf and The Kissaway Trail, and the night was full of intricate, moody music that was heavily suited to the painfully over-emo crowd.

Lone Wolf frontman Paul Marshall started out the night performing solo (apparently he has a five piece band when in Europe), and delivered a set of highly literal pieces of songwriting, backed by primarily delicate folk guitar.

Marshall was visibly nervous and excited about the set, and unabashedly waxed philosophical on his love of New York. The crowd loved him back, and gave him more than a little bit of positive feedback on both his voice and performance.

Lone Wolf was followed by Danish favorites The Kissaway Trail. The band, who apparently have been oft compared to Arcade Fire, demonstrated with their set that the comparison is more than a little apt. The band's set was littered with nods of the hat to the Canadian rock band, from the persistent rhythmic drumming to the angst ridden vocals.

Despite a set that felt notably derivative to our ears, the band had more than a few fans in the audience. The room was packed, and there seemed to be solid acknowledgement of the set's material. Still, between the incredibly low volume on the vocals and the seemingly aped songwriting, it didn't do a lot to win us over.

Wild Beasts took to the stage shortly thereafter, and bathed largely in darkness, they delivered an incredibly solid representation of their quirkily unique sound. Between shared vocal duties, rotating instrumental responsibilities, and a modest 4-piece setup, the band managed to effortlessly pull off some of the most intricate arrangements from Two Dancers.

Sadly, the band's onstage vibe was slightly marred for us by a fanbase that seems to consist almost entirely of 20-something women who sing along for the entirety of the show. Yes, ladies, we get your enthusiasm. But next time, here's a tip: if you're not on the stage, you're definitely not in the band.

However, fans aside, Wild Beasts managed to deliver a show that was an expert execution of their unique and peculiar sound. If you love Two Dancers as much as we do, taking in this band in their current state is certainly worth your while.


Many more pictures at the HAD Archive