100 Shows of 2010 - #44: Wye Oak @ Rock’n’Roll Hotel, 7/22/10

This show was, in a cruel, cruel way, a wee bit ironic. I can’t remember the last time a show at the Hotel started at a time even close to the scheduled start time. But of course, on a night when it takes me nearly half an hour to park the car, the show naturally starts on the dot. The end result of that unfortunate promptness was that I missed the daggum amazing Gamble House, but it wasn’t all gloom and doom. I did witness a pretty darned triumphant set by Baltimore’s own Wye Oak, and that turned my little frown right upsidedown. Hot diggity dog, indeed.

MINI RECAP: Wye Oak = Shiver Me Timbers! Overall score: A.

There I was, sulking away in the corner as Wye Oak set up. And then they started to play, and my little black cloud of a mood was instantly mollified. They totally caught me off guard with the sheer awesome of their live sound. Starting off with a big, beefy swell of noise, they kept things turned to 11 for the vast majority of their set. Jenn Wasner’s voice absolutely blew me away, steamy and smoky and alternately sultry and slightly snarling. The driving beat of the drum and that voice together made for quite a pairing, this is a band with big time bite. At times the band veered wildly between ethereal beauty and threatening darkness, and lord knows I love a little dark/light juxtaposition. The noise was extreme, and I loved just about everything about it. Wye Oak, on this night, was a lot more raw than the recorded material I’ve heard of theirs, and the ferocity of the set sounded some kinda wonderful to me.

I must confess, as bummed as I initially was, if I had to miss Gamble House, Wye Oak was certainly more than ample as a runner-up prize. I’d never been much of a fan, but after seeing this set, I might be more inclined to pay due diligence to Wye Oak from now on. You might should do the same.

mp3: My Neighbor (Wye Oak from My Neighbor/My Creator)


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