In Which I Review a Wolf Parade Show

November 8, 2008

Wolf Parade
The Blue Note
Columbia, MO

A friend and I drove up to Columbia last night to catch Wolf Parade at the Blue Note instead of waiting until Saturday to see them at the never enjoyable Gargoyle in St. Louis. It also worked out nicely that I would be able to catch the Missouri-Kansas State football game the next day.

We got to The Blue Note just as opening act Listening Party was starting their set. It had been at least 7 years since I had been to The Blue Note – Modest Mouse and The Anniversary in 2001 – and even though I’ve seen dozens and dozens of shows there, I had kind forgotten how intimate the venue is for a theater. I guess I had gotten used to The Pageant in St. Louis.

Listening Party was good, but nothing to write home about. Several in the audience, though, really seemed to be into it. I imagine if I had been familiar with their catalogue I would have appreciated their set more. I did really like the way the would loop the rhythms for some cool effects and rhythms.

Wolf Parade came out and it seemed like the venue suddenly got packed – I’m not sure where all the people came from – and upon the opening drums of set-opener “You Are A Runner and I Am My Father’s Son” the crowd immediately showed that they were going to be into the show.

The set list was split evenly between the band’s two full lengths and featured all but one song from their latest, At Mount Zoomer. The set’s flow was perfect and the band followed a basic pattern of alternating between Spencer Krug-lead songs and Dan Boeckner-lead songs. It occured to me that I generally have a more immediate, visceral reaction to Dan’s songs, but realize that the band would lose what makes it so great if Spencer’s unique voice and songwriting were missing from the equation. The band was super tight and the show-closer “Fancy Claps” was played particularly faster and louder than the recorded version. All-in-all it was an absolutely great set.

After the show, we headed to a nearby bar for another drink, and trying to give my friend a taste of Columbia, we headed to a second bar for another drink. When we got to the second bar, however, we were told it was at capacity, so we headed to yet another place – I’m not sure what it’s now called, but it used to be The Music Cafe – where they let us in for a reduced cover because the band playing (who was never identified to us) was almost done. We walked in during the band’s encore break, hit the bar, ordered a drink and started talking. Over our conversation, the band got back up on the stage and my friend noted, without looking at the stage, that the guy sounded like former Drive-by Trucker guitarist Jason Isbell. Upon actually taking a look at the stage, we realized it in fact was Jason Isbell. We had completely randomly walked into a Jason Isbell show at a tiny relatively obscure bar in Columbia, Missouri.

So that was fun.

I will have pictures tomorrow, but here’s Wolf Parade’s set list:

You Are a Runner and I am My Father’s Son
Soldier’s Grin
Call It A Ritual
The Grey Estates
Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts
Language City
An Animal In Your Care
Shine a Light
Grounds for Divorce
Fine Young Cannibals
California Dreaming
This Heart’s On Fire
Kissing The Beehive
–encore break–
It’s A Curse
I’ll Believe In Anything
Fancy Claps

I found some video from the show on youtube:
“I’ll Believe In Anything”

“Grounds for Divorce”:

Listening Party:

Wolf Parade:


  1. Isbell was at the Blue Fugue. I miss Columbia already.

  2. Ahh, yes – the Blue Fugue. To me, though, it will always be The Music Cafe.

  3. […] In Which I Review a Wolf Parade Show […]

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