photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis
Wild Beasts / Mutual Benefit @ Pier 84 7/10/2014
You couldn't have asked for a nicer evening for the kickoff of this year's Hudson River Park's River Rocks series. A breeze kept things cool as lovely purples and pinks filled the clouds, with two equally cool and lovely bands providing the soundtrack. Mutual Benefit are very much a sunset band, mellow and relaxing with their violin-driven pop. The band's acclaimed Other Music debut came out late last year and the label is set to reissue the band's 2011 Cowboy's Prayer EP in September.
Wild Beasts, meanwhile, are a band for the dark, when things go bump in the night. They seemed a lot more comfortable with the more prominent electronics found on this year's Present Tense than they did when they played MHOW back in March. The four members morph together as one undulating sultry groove machine, with vocalists Hayden Thorpe and Tom Flemming trading vocals and instruments while guitarist Ben Little colors things in and drummer Chris Talbot keeps the beat inventive, heavy on the toms. Both Flemming and Thorpe have songs where they sing lead, but their best songs -- the new "Sweet Spot" and "Devil's Crayon" from their first album -- blur them together.
Some of you may have noticed a guy spinning tunes from the far corner of the stage between bands. That was me. Wild Beasts and Mutual Benefit's tour plays Philadelphia tonight (7/11). MB plays NYC again on Halloween. More pictures from Wild Beasts and Mutual Benefit at River Rocks below...
SETLIST: Wild Beasts @ Pier 84 7/10/2014
Reach a Bit Further
A Simple Beautiful Truth
Hooting and Howling
This Is Our Lot
Bed of Nails
A Dog's Life
All the King's Men