I had been anticipating seeing Wild Beasts
at (le) poisson rouge for a couple months. During these months, I listened to the bands' most recent album, Boy King,
on repeat. I would also watch YouTube videos from their live sold out shows back from 2012 in England, where the indie rock band descends. (le) poisson rouge is a pretty small venue. It's much smaller than the venues I had seen the band play at on YouTube. Knowing how huge they are in the UK, I recognized how fortunate I was to have gotten to see them play in such an intimate setting.
The band opened with "Tough Guy," one of their more laid back songs from Boy King
(since it's one of the band's heavier albums, filled with deep, rhythmic bass, poppy synths, and a lot of guitar solos). I noticed that the crowd was not as upbeat as I thought they would be. While there were a few dancing queens within the crowd, the general audience was particularly laid-back. They would bob their heads along to the rhythm, but not much else.
After playing their seventh song, "Hooting and Howling," from their 2009 album Two Dancers,
singer Hayden Thorpe went on to ban the audience from taking any photos or videos on their phones for the remainder of the show. He said something along the lines of, "us all being together" and "being in the moment." Most of us instantly started living in the present. One man, however, ignored the request, which resulted in Thorpe confiscating his phone for a brief moment mid-song, all while the phone was still recording. Just imagine that footage. I was slightly jealous to have not captured that myself.
"2BU," sang by guitarist, Ben Little, is one of my personal favorites. Little did the song justice, adding passion and envy to lines such as, "I want your face, I want your skin, I want your name, I want to live, I want everything."
He delivered this song in such a way that got even the most reserved fan to give a screech or two.
The highlight of the performance was when Thorpe got off stage and walked through the crowd while singing "Celestial Creatures." He sang from person to person and didn't hold back. He even held some people's hands.
Wild Beasts brought enough love for everyone at (le) poisson rouge on Wednesday night. They didn't neglect a single person in the room, throwing high fives and holding the hands of the fans who reached. It was magical to be in a jam-packed room with all of that passion. Wild Beasts make music that touches the soul, and make you want to close your eyes and dance your heart out.