Wild Beasts @ Joe’s Pub, NYC 9/8/09

Wild Beasts almost need to be ashamed of themselves. For making the transition from merely striking to truly sensational with their sophomore effort Two Dancers, maybe. For filling those taut, sexual, studio-sleek art-pop pieces with a propulsive, precise new energy live, probably. But it’s only after seeing the band recreate those tracks live that the embarrassment of riches the band has in vocalists Hayden Thorpe and Tom Fleming is fully apparent. And it’s fun doing it. Joe’s Pub, a suave downtown NYC listening room, didn’t exactly transform under the suggestive, syncopated power of Wild Beasts’ first performance in the city. But it did tighten at the corners, the room feeling even smaller and more intimately focused with the opening, dark-room groove of “This Is Our Lot.” Which is a feat in a table-seated venue where dinner is being served and waitresses quietly demand drink orders, but watching Hayden and Tom flip/switch/trade instruments/falsettos/tenors was powerful in a way only suggested by their studio sessions. It was a short set (eight songs total, three from their also-worthy debut Limbo, Panto), a primer for three shows in proper rock clubs in the area this week. If the point was for the Kendal-incubated British band to tune up for the rest of ther introduction to NYC, well, point made. They played Maxwell’s in Hoboken last night, and tonight hit Mercury before wrapping up at Union Pool tomorrow night. The band worked well in Joe’s, but their stage movements made it clear they’re best served in the rock club. So you should go. Here’s Tuesday night’s setlist, along with some so-so photos.

01 “This Is Our Lot”
02 “All The King’s Men”
03 “The Devil’s Crayon”
04 “We Still Got The Taste Dancing On Our Tongues”
05 “The Fun Powder Plot”
06 “His Grinning Skull”
07 “Hooting And Howling”
08 “Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants”

Go to both of these shows:
09/10 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
09/11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool

Tags: Wild Beasts