photos by PSquared

"I will be the first man in history to sweat through a blazer. I will not take it off all night, I do not care!" Spencer Krug was toweling off his perspiration-drenched head. This was Wolf Parade's first U.S. show in over five years, and first of five straight sold-out nights at Bowery Ballroom. This was only the band's third since reuniting and the kick of doing it again, in front of a clearly adoring audience, had Krug, Dan Boeckner and Dante DeCaro all smiles all night. (Walking out to The Clash's "The Magnificent Seven" seemed fitting.) Drummer Arlen Thompson may have been grinning to but I couldn't see him so well. "This is fun," added Krug, and everyone at Bowery agreed.

Though they said tonight they'd be working out the kinks, it basically seemed like there'd been no time since Wolf Parade went on hiatus. A group of fans, dressed in gym gear and terrycloth sweatbands like they'd just come from playing kickball in McCarren Park, added to the time warp effect. More importantly,  that chemistry between Krug and Boeckner, so vital to what they do, was still there.

It's those moments where Krug and Boeckner trade off vocals that the Wolf Parade magic really happens. We got a lot of that, whether it was within a song, or seamless medleys that happened at least a couple times, including one with new songs "Cest La Vie Life" into "Floating World," both from their brand new self-released EP.  Later in the set, Krug would intro another EP track, the terrific "Mr. Startup" (one of the highlights of the set for me), by saying "Here's another new one...boooo!," to which Boeckner added "Boo-urns!" Simpsons jokes are always welcome.

There was plenty of classics, too, which had the Bowery Ballroom crowd bouncing and singing along, including "Modern World," "Shine a Light," "Fine Young Cannibals," and "We Built Another World" which Boeckner said they hadn't played in at least eight years. Setlist is below and in the photos gallery above.

Much like fellow Canadians Land of Talk this past weekend, this was a most welcome return.

Toronto's Doomsquad, sporting a newly-expanded lineup and some exotic outfits, opened the night with a set of dancerock that owes to mid-'00s DFA and early-'80s postpunk, and they sounded great. They'll be on tour with Holy Fuck (a perfect double bill) later this year.

Four more Bowery Ballroom shows to go, the next two nights are opened by Future Islands offshoot The Snails. (They'll be back next month for a free McCarren Park show with Land of Talk during Northside Fest.)

Check the photo gallery at the top of the post for some photos of the show by P Squared (and stay tuned for more which are on the way).

Some instagram pics and videos can be seen below.


SETLIST: Wolf Parade @ Bowery Ballroom 5/18/2016
Cloud Shadow on the Mountain
Soldier's Grin
Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts
Shine a Light
C'est La Vie Way
Floating World
Ghost Pressure
Mr. Startup
Fine Young Cannibals
You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son
Fancy Claps
We Built Another World
What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had to Go This Way)
This Heart's On Fire
Kissing the Beehive

Modern World
I'll Believe in Anything

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