Nylon Magazine Summer Music Tour Featuring Patrick Wolf
June 30, 2009
Better than: Sitting at home reading Nylon. Maybe.
Check out our slideshow from the show, too.
London-born multi-instrumentalist Patrick Wolf definitely wasn't shy last night at the Granada Theater, as he gallivanted around the stage playing a good mix of songs from all four of his albums. Wolf was joined by three other acts, Jaguar Love, Plastiscines and Living Things, on the Nylon Summer Music Tour.
First on the bill, Portland-based duo Jaguar Love. Although Johnny Whitney and Cody Votolato are most commonly known for their role in Seattle-based hard-core band The Blood Brothers, the duo's new hook-driven tunes went over well last night despite a small turnout.
Next up, Plastiscines. The all-female French band was very pleasing to the eye, with their matching haircuts and "rocker chick" personas. The girls seemed to be having a lot of fun onstage. While their performance was entertaining, and the quartet could certainly strum a few notes, their overall aesthetic and sound was more high school talent show than rock n' roll tour.
Sure, there were a couple half-decent guitar solos, but Katty Besnar, lead vocals and guitar, spent too much time crawling around on the ground in a sexy kitten pose, practically screaming: "Look at me, take my picture!" The whole thing looked a bit put on. Towards the end of their set, Besnar brought out a tambourine for their rendition of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walking," finally getting the meager crowd to clap along with them. Following the cover, the girls wished a very happy birthday to Patrick Wolf (yesterday was his 26th) ending their set with "Bitch."
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After a very long sound check, St. Louis boys Living Things appeared on stage, each member dressed head-to-toe in black, accompanied by two female backup singers perched in the left rear corner of the stage (also in black). Lillian Berlin, lead guitar and singer with overly teased hair and very high-waisted black pants attempted to round up the crowd with a bold attempt and powerful delivery, but no real response from the crowd seemed to be happening. In fact, there were numerous conversations taking place around the room, and for the most part people seemed genuinely disinterested. This disinterest continued until the band's high-energy delivery of "Oxygen" -- it was their best performance all night and it had people in the very front row clapping. Even the girls from Plastiscines came out and bounced around in the crowd.
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Wolf opened his set with "Vulture," which was the first single released off his new album The Bachelor. True to form, Wolf started off his performance glamorously dressed in a sleeveless one-piece jumper, and a cloak that made him look something like a giant vulture. Mid-song, Wolf dramatically lowered himself onto the ground where he lay, in a posed position, still belting out the lyrics. Then, Wolf shed his cloak, picked up his electric guitar and chanted out " Oblivion" howling as the song shifted seamlessly into "Bluebells," of which he delivered a whimsical rendition. The song was just one of many songs he played from his debut album, The Magic Position.
Following "Bluebells," Wolf worked his way over to a keyboard for an intimate moment where he sat there and tinkered away on the keys singing "Enchanted." No glitz, no glamour (well, maybe a little glamour, since it is, after all, Patrick Wolf) just him. The show was laced with stunts, as Wolf scaled the right rafter of the stage before diving into the crowd, but his music remained the main focus.
For last night's encore, unlike those in some of his previous shows on this tour, Patrick Wolf didn't strip down to his birthday suit -- even if it happened to be his birthday. Rather, the freshly 26-year-old strutted out onstage in a "Don't Mess With Texas," shirt ending the night on a very high note with "Tristian."
Personal Bias: I do not appreciate being personally called out by Plastiscines front girl Katty Besna, for not clapping along to one of their meh Songs, especially while I was clearly taking notes.