“Welcome back,” I said, and Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner smiled. Putting their side projects – all 800 of them – to the side, Wolf Parade did come back. And yes, Boeckner agreed, the band’s first reunion show in Vancouver – well, technically, up in the mountains at the Pemberton Music Festival last July – didn’t really count. It couldn’t. Festivals aren’t full of friends, after all. But their February 22 show, a first in town since their crazy 2011 Commodore Ballroom send-off? This show counted.
I showed Boeckner the photo I took of the crowd rushing the stage at their “final gig” and he laughed as if he’d forgotten that the band let half of everyone there up to sing along. A wide smile. The Commodore Ballroom, he said, now has a “Wolf Parade rule” enacted after that night that now only allows two people per band member backstage.
The Wolf Parade do know how to throw a party.
But at their first of not one, but three, shows back in YVR, Wolf Parade’s party was being somewhat quashed by several technical difficulties. There were pedal and bass string problems, with bassist DeCaro quietly sitting offside to re-string. Boeckner was all a ball of energy and ready to go, jittery and repeatedly asking “are we ready?”, but singer/keyboardist Spencer Krug and DeCaro hhad to shit to work through. Krug wandered over – drummer Arlen Thompson sat patiently – so he and Boeckner could chat through whatever was going wrong. They might have been bummed but hey ho. Back to work, and with smiles, too.
“Thank you for letting me and Spencer catch up a bit,” Boeckner joked. “It’s been a few months.”
But even if the first few songs (“Cloud Shadow on the Mountain,” “Language City” and “Shine a Light”) were marred by glitches, Wolf Parade still walk several steps ahead of most. By the time “Grounds for Divorce” swung round, it was a more of a weeknight Wolf Parade party. We danced, the dude and his girl behind me, high as eagles, hugged each other and sang loud, while Spencer praised the crowd for its patience and how “only true fans come out on a Wednesday night.” “What Did My Lover Say? (It Had to Go This Way)” was as good as it’s always been. And then? Two new songs, “never before played except for in front of us”, showed real promise. One unnamed, the second called “Dreaming.”
New songs from Wolf Parade, comin’ this fall. And a party, three nights in a row right now.
Welcome back, Wolf Parade. This one counts. \m/
Here’s that other new @wolfparade song I promised! ❤️(From last night) A post shared by Mikala (@backstagerider) on Feb 23, 2017 at 11:05pm PST