Friday, May 11, 2007

Interlude: Outro


So, my last night in NYC. Having missed Patrick Wolf a few times before in the last month or so, I figured it would be offensive to pass him up again. To avoid being shutout, something that was developing into a trend of the last couple weeks, I stomached the $4 surcharge and reserved a ticket online, although that would later prove unnecessary. This was actually my first time at the Bowery Ballroom, which lead to some confusion when the entrance lead downstairs to the bar, without a stage in sight. They didn't actually open up the entrance to that area until a good hour after doors, but I suppose I should be used to it by now. Anyways, logistics aside, it was a great show to end my stay with.

Essie Jain
Essie Jain is British, but by her own word, "Not from the same envelope as Patrick, not that there wouldn't be anything wrong with that." Although she was referring to geography - she currently resides in New York - her restrained set was quite different from Patrick's, although perhaps not too dissimilar to some of his older material. Her dignified delivery, reminiscent at times of our favorite country cat, was the centerpiece of the set, although soothing, Mojavesque guitar was also a nice feature. Things remained pretty mellow throughout, occasionally swelling with a chorus, and the drummer did switch from brushes to sticks, as well chipping in the occasional verse, which was nice.

MP3: Essie Jain - Glory
MP3: Essie Jain - Haze
MP3: Essie Jain - Loaded
MySpace: Essie Jain
Official Site: Essie Jain

Patrick Wolf

Things started reasonably enough, with some programmed ambience and a mournful violin intro. Patrick appeared in his patented short shorts, a tattered shirt and sat down for a piano ballad. He switched to guitar, then it went insane with the downright violent "Tristan." One of the reasons I enjoy The Magic Position so dearly is the electronic elements bubbling below the surface, but they were really in the forefront in the live setting, providing all of the percussion. It turned what I'm sure what could have been a polite singing-songwriting set into a head-bobbing (if not feet-elevating) dance party. Major kudos to the crowd for being so darn fanatical, and for P-Wolf for being his dramatic self, quickly tearing said tattered shirt off, and executing dance moves that made the hipsters swoon. The coup de grâce was when he flung off his black wig in a flourish of glitter, revealing his trademark shock of red hair, and setting up the theme of the night: theatrical.

Things continued merrily, but then came to a rather bemusing halt when Patrick, in what seemed to be in response to a random call from the crowd, improvised a rhyme, ending with, "Goodbye," and dashed off the stage. The instrumentals picked up for a few minutes, and I recalled with mounting dismay that he had reportedly only played for a scant half-hour over at Studio B a few weeks prior. But Patrick finally returned, sporting a new, less revealing outfit, and if I recall correctly, began again with "Overture," one of my favorite cuts from the new album. Patrick picked up his own violin, and even amidst the thudding beats, it was apparent that he's classically trained. Another Magic Position highlight in "Bluebells" would follow, but there was a strong presence of old material throughout the set, and while I'm still pretty unfamiliar with it, I will definitely be investigating after this experience.

A second costume change and a short while later, we arrived to the highlight of the night, an anthemic rendition of "The Magic Position" that closed the main set. Whom Patrick is crediting as the source of the "major key" isn't clear, but for one night at least, it could very well have been the crowd. I heard some of the loudest cheers I've ever heard in any venue, and it wasn't just Patrick's occasionally outrages gestures, or even the music, as good as it was. There's just something that's incredibly appealing about this guy and the way he approaches music, a sort of purity that isn't obscured by his idiosyncrasies. Anyways, "Accident & Emergency" kicked off the encore, and while some technical difficulties prevented us from hearing Patrick's take on disco, he did cover Kate Bush's "Hounds of Love" in the finale. And it really seems that rumours of his demise have been overstated, as Patrick's promise that he will "be back in New York soon" seems a certainty given this incredible show.

MP3: Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position
MP3: Kate Bush - Hounds of Love

Here's Patrick's 2003 London Calling set. While decent, it doesn't do justice to the power of his current live show, and if you ever get a chance, absolutely see him live.

1. Souvenirs
2. Bloodbeat
3. To The Lighthouse
4. The Childcatcher
5. Beastiality
6. Pigeon Song
7. Banter
8. Don't Say No
9. Banter
10. Paris

Buy: Here
Official Site: Patrick Wolf


Anonymous said...

patrick wolf is amazing

lesmeteques said...

i was there too. aside from the hour long wait between the support & patty it was fucking awesome.

Anonymous said...

please can you repost beastiality?

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