There was really just one reason I’d shown up: that reason was frontman Spencer Krug. I couldn’t have been the only one who felt the same way in a scattered crowd of casual devotees. The fantasy, of course, was that he’d perform a bit of a hat trick and go about playing all Wolf Parade (as he helps front that tighter, poppier outfit as well), but he never made good on the powers of wishful thinking. Instead, he was there to play his completely rambling Rubdown, which, like those Fleet Foxes, are filled up with longish songs and no set choruses. Unlike the Fleets, however, he leans less on a band of beards and four-part harmonies and more on the keyboards (often two versus that far too common regularity of one) and, well, wherever his voice seems to want to take him. His vocals might be able to take Chris Cornell’s in a fight these days, though he’s plenty more jittery (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is all caught up inside there some place, too), making him equally fascinating to listen to as well to watch. It’s so rare we see a frontman banging on keys instead of opting for guitar. It may be even more rare to hear so much soul in one voice. That said, we got pretty much what we’d bargained for.
Krug was visibly sick (he even admitted and apologized for it about halfway through) and looked to be pretty physically drained a lot of the time, but he still punched in and put on an amazing show, one that included songs from all of the band’s albums, ones like “Idiot Heart,” You Go On Ahead (Trumpet Trumpet II)” and “Us Ones In Between.” And, for what it’s worth, he mentioned there would even be another Wolf Parade album at some point but, for now, a little Sunset Rubdown never hurt nobody.
There may, in fact, have been a complete disregard for a closed door to the band’s green room, where they were resting after the concert — passion gets you into some places and kicked out of others. A couple T-shirts were signed before the sweaty singer was left in peace, allowing some lucky lass to make it out with one of the best autographs ever. It was only penned with a normal ballpoint, so it’ll likely wash off almost immediately, but may she carefully digest the words he wrote before opting for that spin cycle: “You’re drunk and you won’t even remember the show, but thanks. — Spencer.” Ah, keeping it real.