Patrick Wolf at Slim’s, 6/8/09

by Gordon Elgart on June 11, 2009

Red Jacket

Patrick looks a wee bit evil here.

Describing Patrick Wolf is hard. I was just asked, “what kind of music is he?” I did not have a quick answer. I hemmed and hawed. I know I like it, and I know it should make for an interesting live show, so there I was at Slim’s on a Monday night seeing the Nylon Summer Tour with headliner Patrick Wolf. Little I did know how crazy the night would actually get.

Was arrested by san fran police for spitting in a bouncers face in protection of myself. Was almost shot in the face by a policeman. WTF? xp about 11 hours ago from web

was told by the policeman “take your shitty ass music out of this city and if you ever step off that tour bus you will be ***** ******** ” x about 11 hours ago from web

feeling very thelma and louise right now.. must sleep… not allowed off the bus or i will be shot by a policeman. this country is insane!!! about 11 hours ago from web

btw. apparently my spit DEFINITELY contains “hiv, swine flu and hepatitis” that is why my spit is a deadly weapon according to police here! about 11 hours ago from web

That’s from Patrick Wolf’s Twitter, posted well after the end of his show at Slim’s. During the show, he invited everyone to come with him to the Eagle Tavern to go crazy. And I guess he wasn’t kidding.

Hours earlier, the night seemed like it would go quietly. The crowd at Slim’s was pretty bored and boring during the two openers I saw. The Plasticines are a garage band made up of four attractive young French girls. They play a fun, fast-paced brand of rock, and it seemed to be perfect music to rock out to. Yet the crowd watched quietly. The bass player even asked people to start dancing. This move never works, and the crowd was lost.

The next group was The Living Things, and they were received better, although I wouldn’t say they are better. They played straightforward mid-tempo 4/4 classic rock. They’re one of those bands that wished they were the Rolling Stones, and they aren’t.

It was already pretty late for a Monday night when Patrick Wolf came out. Immediately, it was clear that Patrick Wolf was trying really really hard to be an energetic performer. And for the most part, he is. His band, however, acts bored throughout, and this has the effect of sucking a lot of energy out of the room.

I wrote some things in my notebook about Patrick Wolf.

Early on when the crowd was quiet, and he was finding his feet up on the stage: “He’s that guy you know who’s always acting like he wants to be on stage, but has to be forced to go up because he’s too nervous, and then once he’s there, he won’t leave.”

After his second costume change: “He’s an early 80s version of the future of music. He looks like he came to this venue directly from starring in The Apple.”

After the show became a giant party with the crowd being invited up on stage to dance with him: “He’s the kind of guy who’ll never be popular, but can definitely acquire superfans. He’ll work forever.”

The show was good, his costume changes were funny, and half of his fans ended up on stage with him. Who could ask for more?

Party Part 1

Picture 1 of 7

That girl to his left is really into Patrick

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Caroline June 11, 2009 at 11:08 pm

I once read an article about him that said he left the stage during a live performance when his drummer passed out (from drugs and/or alcohol). He was so pissed because it got in the way of him making his music. So he’s also one of those artists who’s way into his “craft”… Nevertheless, I like him.

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