- 21 Nov 17
The Christmas lights are lit in Dublin and there’s a cosy feel about the city. We trundle on down to The Button Factory to welcome Wolf Parade back for their first Dublin performance in 7 years (though some lucky fans may have caught them in Ballinlough for Body & Soul last year). Their first album in as long was released last month, and with it they’ve proven that despite the hiatus they still have that signature sound that always set them apart.
They are supported by fellow Canadians FRIGS who, as it instantly becomes apparent, have nailed down their own unique blend of riot/ garage/ grunge/ new wave rock. They give a high energy performance and Frontwoman Bria Salmena definitely brings something special to the stage with her impressive vocals - one minute deeply and emotionally singing a ballad and the next screaming and growling into the mic. Behind her the guitar and bass churn out dissonant, crunching riffs, pinned down by incessant, pounding drums. The band offer a brief break from their up tempo goth rock sound in the form of a more slower paced and atmospheric ballad style tune, however, it isn't long before they hit double time and kick it back up a notch. The song ends with a feedback some which rings into the riff of he next song - a definite highlight of the set. With a sound akin to Sonic Youth meets Lower Dens, and a propensity for almost animalistic, ritualistic chanting, these guys are doing something different. And doing it well.
Finally, the band take their places and break into ‘Lazarus Online’ - what an opener. What a set of openers in fact. It’s like these guys looked inside our heads and knew what we were craving. We got, in order, ‘Modern World’, ‘You Are A Runner’ (while Spencer Krug’s face lit up with a beaming grin), and ‘Fancy Claps’. They showcase their Tom Waits and Television inspired guitars, as always, before ‘You’re Dreaming’ and a declaration that they’re going to “play some songs off our new record tonight”. We’re grand with that. Their new album has absolutely no problem standing up to their ‘classics’. They played a well rounded set, in fact - Dan told us they still enjoy playing the older stuff. Good - we enjoy hearing it.
Though the crowd predictably went crazy for offerings such as ‘Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts’ and ‘I’ll Believe in Anything’, their new material was well received. ‘Baby Blue’ for example with its long jam session and ‘Artificial Life’ were particular highlights.