Wolf Parade & Land of Talk played Northside Fest kickoff in McCarren Park (pics, review)
photos by Amanda Hatfield
After five Bowery Ballroom shows in May, the return of Wolf Parade continued with a big free, outdoor Northside Festival show in McCarren Park last night (6/9). Dan Boeckner said on stage that he thinks it's the largest crowd Wolf Parade ever played for in NYC. They were great at Bowery Ballroom, but I think I liked them even more last night. There's nothing like a good outdoor show in perfect weather, and while seeing a band like Wolf Parade in an intimate environment like Bowery Ballroom is always cool, it was nice to be able to stretch out and watch Wolf Parade do the same. They certainly played to the larger stage and the larger crowd, looking and sounding like total rock stars. But like I said about them last month, they still play with the eagerness of a young band too. They seemed genuinely grateful that the crowd was into them, especially when they played their new songs, and -- even if they performed like the seasoned vets that they are -- you got the vibe that they still felt like they needed to win you over.
The thing that came across even more so at this show than at Bowery Ballroom, is that for all of Wolf Parade's quirks and arty tendencies, they are a rock band. They got loud last night ("I won't need earplugs at this outdoor show" was a wrong assumption), and all of them (but especially Dan) rock out like they're playing a sweaty punk show. "We're gonna play a rock song and then a progressive rock song," Dan said at the beginning of the encore, introducing "This Heart's On Fire" and "Kissing The Beehive." Even if you just saw that portion of the show, you could be fully sold on the power Wolf Parade still have in a live setting.
This set was particularly heavy on Apologies to the Queen Mary, with the aforementioned "This Heart's On Fire" plus "You Are A Runner And I Am My Father's Son" (which opened their set), "We Built Another World," "Fancy Claps," "Shine A Light," "Dear Sons And Daughters Of Hungry Ghosts," and "I'll Believe In Anything." We also got "What Did My Lover Say?" off Expo 86, and a few others off At Mount Zoomer ("Soldier's Grin," "Fine Young Cannibals," more).
The show was opened by Land of Talk, another great Montreal band who we're very happy to have back after a five-year hiatus. Like at their other recent NYC shows, main member Elizabeth Powell was joined by Jace & Olga of Besnard Lakes, original LoT drummer Bucky, and Pietro Amato from Luyas/Bell Orchestre/Arcade Fire. I was late and didn't catch their whole set (there were sound issues, and the wind kept knocking over [and out of tune] Liz's guitars), but the couple songs I did see sounded as great as they did when they made their return last month.
Check out more pictures of Land of Talk and Wolf Parade:
Land of Talk