photo credit: kurren
Having two equally brilliant frontmen can be a precarious situation for a band. Not only is it difficult to decide which songs to play, but often albums and live shows can be a bit disjointed as the band may lack a solid direction or focus. Luckily for Wolf Parade, this is not the case in the least. Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner are equally adept at fronting the band (see their side projects, Sunset Rubdown and Handsome Furs, respectively, for further proof), and rather than creating a dilemma, this dichotomy is the natural stomping ground for a band riding a massive wave of national and international support.
And so, it was with eager anticipation that Wolf Parade made their first-ever headlining visit to the Cincinnati region this past Wednesday night at the Southgate House. The sold-out crowd was packed into the ballroom, drinking and smoking a storm, ready to dance the night away, and the Canadian quintet gladly obliged.
Their set was equally distributed between songs from their two magnificent albums, Apologies to the Queen Mary and At Mount Zoomer. They opened the set with Queen Maryâ€™s opener â€œYou Are A Runner and I Am My Fatherâ€™s Son,â€ and never looked back, smashing through all of the songs that have become fan favorites over the last few years. Highlights included â€œSons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts,â€ â€œIâ€™ll Believe in Anything,â€ and an extended version of â€œKissing the Beehive.â€
All of the members of Wolf Parade bring a unique flair for their instrument, none more so than Boeckner, who thrashes his guitar with animalistic intent and shouts his lyrics with guttural emphasis. After watching him wail, I wasnâ€™t sure Krug would be able to match, but in his own unique way, I was drawn in by his personal charm. His incantations remind me of David Byrne, and his warming and soft presence on stage counterbalances Boecknerâ€™s dissonance wonderfully.
I was most impressed with Wolf Paradeâ€™s energy and musical affluence Wednesday night. They allowed both of their front men to draw in the audience, while at the same time giving each the space he needed to show creative control. Not to mention the ridiculous banter and interaction the two had throughout the show, both with each other and the audience, adding a level of dynamism other bandâ€™s have yet to find or master.