WAND lit up Bowery Ballroom with Yonatan Gat and Darto (pics, review)
WAND may have started in the same garage-pysch scene is Ty Segall, but Cory Hanson was soon forging a his own path, making expansive, dynamic rock loaded with swagger and serious chops. The band's latest album, Plum, is their biggest leap forward yet, incorporating towering Zeppelin riffage and Eno-esque glam. Still, none of their records quite prepare you for just how good WAND are live, and they were flat-out great Friday night (10/6) at Bowery Ballroom.
Looking a bit like Douglas Fairbanks in a long coat, collared shirt and slacks, Hanson commanded the stage with a seriously talented group of musicians, bringing Plum to life. (It should also be said that out of this whole scene, Hanson is by far the best singer of the bunch.) WAND pretty much played the whole album -- the widescreen "Bee Karma" and the LP's title track sounded especially good. Then Hanson invited a couple folks dressed as ducks in inflatable yellow suits to the stage for the second half of the set, which included Ganglion Reef's rather epic "Fire on the Mountain" and a cover of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl." Initially, the duck people were just onstage to provide a fun, kooky visual element -- had they wandered in from Comic Con? -- but then Hanson handed off the guitar to one of them who picked right up where Hanson left off, before passing it back for the song's finale. It was, in fact, a couple members of WAND's tourmates, Darto. A fantastic show -- go see them on this tour if they play near you.
Yonatan Gat was the night's undercard and, while he usually sets up on the floor, Friday night he and his band, which included Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer Brian Chase, played on the stage, but they set up right at the front with only a couple bare bulbs lighting them for an improvisational set. Pictures of their performance, and the whole night are in the gallery above, and a few Instagram videos of WAND (and the ducks) are below.
photos by Em Grey