Patrick Wolf @ Hiro Ballroom, NYC 4/5/07

While Bruce Springsteen was busy making a surprise appearance at the tribute to Bruce Springsteen, we were freezing our sweet cheeks off in line to see Stereofave Patrick Wolf at Hiro Ballroom last night. $45 on four drinks and an hour after talking in the back smoker’s lounge later, the show’s star and his band of glossed-up glamstanding instrumentalists took the stage for a short and mostly good set.

Opening with “Overture” was the only sensible thing to do, semantically and otherwise. The song’s a killer and sorta set the mood, though the room’s acoustics fought him. The Hiro soundsystem was ill-equipped for last night’s orchestral glitz-pop; depending on song and orientation (physically, that is), you’d hear a sadly overdriven double bass, or a comping keyboard getting the better of mix. Still, the solo piano “Moon River” cover was ace. And the shit sound didn’t stop Patrick from getting his pizazz on. Clearly.

First thought was, “Wow, his hair isn’t cherry red anymore. He looks so staid!” Then the jacket came off to reveal that sequined, aquamarine number you’re admiring right there, and the gangly lad punctuated his soundsystem-defeating croon with loose-limbed skyward jabs and haphazard clubkid twirl abouts. He misses being graceful by a dyed hair, but it’s all part of the P. Wolf charm — and nowhere near as awkward as Charlotte Church would have you think.

The set was too short to ever really take hold, though the regular set closing “Magic Position” put a bow on the evening rather beautifully. Didn’t much care for the “You put me in the … magic position, New York now…” But, he obviously loves the city, US customs always has him fight for his right to entry (that rap sheet doesn’t help), and the precocious popper is all of 23 years old. What’s not to love.

Tags: Patrick Wolf