Despite the charms of the two boys behind me in the balcony yelling, "don't be a bitch" at various members of the band as they made banter with the audience, Wild Beasts expressed being *most* excited about the two NYC dates scheduled on their first ever tour of North America, which ends with their show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow (2/28.) Coming all the way from their native UK, the boys travelled through Europe and Australia just to come here and promote songs from their 2nd album, Two Dancers (Domino,) and were welcomed with sold out shows and a sweeping display of spastic audience dancing and general participation, the likes of which I have yet to experience, aside from their show at Bowery Ballroom last night. I would like to credit this to the amount of testosterone in the room (mostly dudes at the show,) or perhaps everyone just had to go to the bathroom real bad.
As is the case with almost any band, Wild Beasts has its shining stars. Hayden Thorpe and Tom Fleming flank a stage like a much more fashionable and sexually ambiguous version of, well, any other band that is led by two dreamy guys. Throughout their set, Thorpe and Fleming would switch off on bass, keyboard, and vocal responsibilities - each lending their own very specific mood to the mix. Fleming is all throaty muscle and rolled up sleeves, while Thorpe minces and warbles like only a countertenor rightly should. When the band (completed by Ben Little and Chris Talbot on guitar and drums respectively) walked on stage, the lot of them hovered in the center for a few moments as the intro music swelled. They jutted their necks at one another, and Thorpe did what became his signature dance move, a sort of hunched, not all together fluid, gyrating of the hips and pelvis. After this happened for a bit, the boys broke apart, took their positions, and delivered a BEYOND solid set of flawless songs. Well, there were a few flaws caused by a buzzing guitar here and there, but it didn't subtract from anything. After one too many flare ups with the instrument, Thorpe remarked, "my guitar has decided to hate me this evening, and I hate it back."
The band put together a blog of their NYC experience and it's very cute. You should read it by going here.
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