>I wasn’t supposed to be at Wolf Parade on the 18th. I had tickets to see Real Estate on the 18th. But then Mike said he was touring Europe and was going to be in London for most of that week. So I sent him a Last.fm link to gigs that were playing that week. Mentioned that I had tickets for the 18th, but if there were any others he wanted to see we could check them out.
Turns out Wolf Parade were playing the Borderline. The Borderline!
The Borderline is a fantastic venue. It is in an alley off an alley near Tottenham Court Road. It only holds 275 people and looks a little like a country and western bar. I’ve seen Brooke Parrott play there as well as Great Lake Swimmers. There isn’t a bad place to stand when you are in there – you will always be within 25 feet of the stage. The sound is good. It is intimate and cozy and lovely. And Wolf Parade were playing there. Wolf Parade! At The Borderline!
I like Wolf Parade, but was not a huge fan. They’ve got a few songs that I really, really like (“You Are A Runner And I Am My Father’s Son”, “I’ll Believe In Anything”) but if it hadn’t been for Mike I wouldn’t have dropped the tickets I already had for Real Estate (gave them to Tyran – I hope they make up for a few hundred of the dinners he’s made) and bought these ones. It really did help that they were playing in such a great venue.
The opening acts were pretty good. Oh No Ono played some catchy tunes and seemed to really enjoy playing. Especially the drummer, who was also adorable. If I hung around at all after shows, I’d definitely be a groupie.
The next act, Joensuu 1685 were not bad. The music was okay (they covered a Springsteen song at one point – a little surreal, that was) but they took themselves far too seriously.
Wolf Parade came on next. If I would have said I wasn’t a fan before, I definitely am now. They had so much energy and the music was simply incredible. It didn’t hurt that they played my favourite song first, but even though I hadn’t heard much of the new stuff, I was fully engaged for the entire gig. They held the audience and had a great time with everyone. They seemed genuinely pleased with the attention of the crowd and had good report with them. The Borderline is a great venue for a band like that… as the band you are practically in the crowd.
There are a lot of bands that I love that are a bit… ‘meh’… in concert. I’m putting Wolf Parade in the top five of acts that I surprised me how great they are live. I would definitely go see them again. And again. And again.