Show Review: Wild Beasts at The Independent, 2/11/10

by Pouria Yazdi on February 12, 2010

I want to start this off by saying Wild Beasts were really appreciative of the sold out crowd at The Independent. They seem like really nice guys but man did I dislike that show last night.

The show started with a narration over some sort of noise that indicated an epicness was about to occur. The band had yet to take the stage and as this English narrator talked of nature and such, the band finally took the stage.

I wrote down in my notes, “I can already tell this is going to be a good show.”

I wanted it to be good, the music was well played, but there was a major element missing for me during the show. They started the night off with the first track of their second album Two Dancers, “Fun Powder Plot.” The beat on this jam is pretty awesome. So I came to the show expecting the crowd to be dancing around, but feet were firmly planted on the ground.

It wasn’t like the audience wasn’t familiar with the songs as they collectively screamed every time a song played. But throughout the night I’d look around and no one was really dancing. The hooting from the crowd was weird for me; if everyone is so excited to see this band, why is no one moving? I got the feeling like people wanted it to be an awesome show, almost willing it to be great. But does that make a good show?

I think therein lies my issue with the show, Wild Beasts really didn’t connect with the crowd. Wild Beasts were having a great time and moving around, but they really had no MC skills to speak of. They would pump their fists and maybe two others in the crowd would join in.

When they got to “All The King’s Men” the bassist took over on vocals. Some bands share the vocal tasks, like Boyd Tinsley will get thrown a song from Dave Matthews but it almost seems trite when that happens, in the case of Wild Beasts it works real well. That was one of the saving graces for me.

Wild Beasts also littered their setlist with tracks off their first album. The first time they did it I was like okay, respect. You’re not here just to play your winning album. When they played another song from Limbo, Panto (“His Grinning Skull”), it seemed they totally lost the crowd at that point.

Next up was “Hooting & Howling,” at this point we had gone through maybe nine songs. I was excited because this song rocks on Two Dancers and here is where I thought they could get the show back on track. Unfortunately I was yawning throughout. When they stopped playing I was shocked that it was their last song.

The crowd stomped for their encore. This surprised me as well. Was I at a different show? Maybe I was, so I decided to stick around for the encore set. They started off with “Devil’s Crayon,” the guy in front of me went ballistic when they announced it, and then he stood still.

I left halfway through the second song of the encore. I had seen all there was to see. I wanted to the show to be great. I told all of my friends to come (glad they were busy). It’s not that I don’t think they could ever put on a great show. Wild Beasts need to work on getting that crowd moving. I would have loved to dance my pants off at that show instead of planting my feet on the ground. A little more experience and maybe they’ll get there.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Felis February 12, 2010 at 7:58 pm

I have no idea what concert you were attending yesterday, but it can’t possibly be the Wild Beasts at Independent. I was there. Great, well delivered music, pure magic by the British band, which very obviously left the audience satisfied.

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Pouria February 12, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Right, it can’t be that show that I reviewed and took a picture of. You must have been the person who was not moving an inch of their body, “enjoying” the show.

Plus, I didn’t know they had a magic act, when did that happen? That would have definitely satisfied me. Maybe we weren’t at the same show after all.

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Bob February 13, 2010 at 5:38 am

I wouldn’t blame the band…..it’s not easy to get a hipster crowd moving. I should know…i’ve seen them play london enough times. That said, the moment the music breaks down to just drums and bass and they start telling everybody to clap their hands is the moment I go for the exit.

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Pouria February 15, 2010 at 8:54 am

Good point Bob. The crowd probably was a hard one to get moving due to their overwhelming hipsterness. I think it would be sweet to check them out in London.

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