Show Review: Wolf Parade with Moools and Zola Jesus at The Fox Theater, 7/28/2010

by Carla Deasy on August 1, 2010

Friday night at The Fox Theater in Oakland, the Bay Area had Wolf Parade back in town for the tour for their 3rd album, Expo 86 ,which came out last month.  The guys in the band are made up from quite a few other successful bands such as The Handsome Furs, Sunset Rubdown, and Hot Hot Heat. There’s an Arcade Fire song under their belt, among others projects as well.  That’s some major Canadian indie rock street cred.

Zola Jesus was the opening band, and they were definitely different.  I’m really not sure if anyone was really into them.  The boys I were with hated it, but personally, I found them to be interesting.  This teeny tiny little girl with long white hair was singing her songs in a contrastingly deep and full voice.  I was feeling it to be a blend of Siouxsie Sioux meets Stevie Nicks, with absolutely none of the visual glamour and fabulousness.  As a performer, she doesn’t come close.  She had a somewhat annoying and bland stage presence with this strange pacing back and forth on the strange and popping up on the speakers.  It just made no sense.  The music were these two guys on synths, one of which had the awesomest glasses, and it was a quieter modern take on electronic, possibly new wave sound.  I was kind of in shock when all of a sudden the dudes unplugged their keyboards and carried them quickly off stage.  No hellos, no goodbyes, no introductions of themselves as a band.  It was a little shocking as a listener.  But I think I still want to track down any music and give it another listen.

Moools had all the stage presence that Zola Jesus lacked.  They’re touring with Wolf Parade from Japan.  Cutest boys ever, and such the charmers with their talking to us in Japanese and Rosetta Stone English.  They were silly, sweet and full of energy.  They crashed into their first song, immediately swinging the mood from slow and sedate into total rock show.  They had an alt rock Pixies-esque time period going on.  The music reminded me a lot of much of what was going on when I was in high school in the post-grunge mid-late 90s.  Even though the roucous guitar screeching solos aren’t quite my thing, I know most other people like it, especially judging my the crowd getting even more amped up during those parts.

Missing out on the tour of Wolf Parade’s debut album is something I’ve always been bummed out on. Apologies to the Queen Mary was on of those obsessed over albums for me my first year in Los Angeles in when I moved there Fall of 2005.  I couldn’t get enough of Krug’s and Boekner’s vocals, and I’m a sucker for excessive keyboards and drums.

I’ve only seen them once before for their 2nd album at the Fonda Music Box in LA.  So, pretty excited about seeing them again at the Fox.   I’ve been spending some time with their new album, Expo 86, and have been trying to resolve it with the debut album that really  solidified what there sound was like for me.  The show at the Fox did that for me.   The set incorporated the new into the old really well, and let me further into what this band is about, and what they’re working towards.

One of my favorite moments from the show, was this really bizarre moment where I though that Krug was an amputee.  See, he has this thing for putting his foot up on a stool behind him while he’s rocking out.  I was watching and all I could see what him standing on one leg, and it looked like the other was cut off mid-thigh.  I got really concerned for a moment.  Why didn’t the staff supply him with a stool?  How rude!  And then I realized that I’m a freak, and was just seeing things.  Total random moment.

But all in all, they were fun.  I had a great night.  The music was fun and lively, except for Zola Jesus who was interesting in a whole different way.  And I got a total unintentional special effect.  I was just wondering why wasn’t this show better attended?  I’m just guessing it was the new album that I’ve been hearing mixed things about.  Wolf Parade fans would have benefited from the show, I think.  I know I did.

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