Wolf Parade march into the Paradise

A review of Wolf Parade at the Paradise Rock Club on August 2, 2008

, Staff

For a band with so many side-projects and former musical ties (wikipedia lists eight associated artists) it’s amazing that Wolf Parade can get anything done. One would think that group with essentially two front men and “primary” songwriters would be destined for self-destruction.&

But Wolf Parade’s follow-up to the modern classic Apologies to the Queen Mary, 2008’s At Mount Zoomer, proved that the band can juggle a dizzying amount of other musical outlets and still come together under the Wolf Parade mantle.&

The Paradise welcomed the Canadian indie giants with a sellout crowd – tickets going for more than double face value online during the days leading up to one of the most anticipated Boston shows on this year’s calendar.&

With all those side projects it’s easy to forget that Wolf Parade only have two albums under their belt – roughly twenty songs. The set list for that Saturday night featured almost all every one of those, including every track off of Zoomer. What’s more is that the band blended highlights from Apologies perfectly, creating what many Wolf Parade fans could call a dream set.

Show and Apologies opener “You Are A Runner And I Am My Father’s Son” was a pleasant surprise to those expecting mostly new tracks this night, and was the first of a few unexpected pleasantries from the band.&

After a pair of Zoomer high points (“Soldiers Grin” and “Call It A Ritual”) the band went into Apologies favorite “Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts” – whose “La la la la la” portion had almost the entire crowd singing along. Each and every Apologies track surprised and delighted the crowd, spawning sing-alongs, animated dancing and more than a few “I love you!”s. It was moments like these that made this show one the summer’s best.

As the set closed with “This Heart’s On Fire” and the ten-minute Zoomer kiss-off “Kissing The Beehive,” the show would have been very good – featuring many favorites, old and new, but a killer encore pushed the night over the top.

Whether luck or a rare case of a band giving into the crowd, keyboardist Spencer Krug agreed to play “Grounds for Divorce” after a fan’s demand despite saying, “We tried to get rid of this one.”&

The night ended with arguably Apologies’ best track, “I’ll Believe in Anything”, and the breakdown halfway through brought the house down. Looking around the Paradise – with it’s tiered seating to each side of the stage – nearly everyone was either standing, dancing singing (“Nobody knows you and nobody gives a damn” being the line) or some combination of the three.

It’s rare to see a band you love play nearly every song you love, but Wolf Parade did just that. Even if it’s only an “every two years or so” kind of thing, any fan should make it a point to see this band live. It’s clear that despite any side project or musical endeavor the members may siphon their creative juices into, these guys love playing together. And they sure know how to craft one hell of a set.&

I’ll believe in anything indeed.

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