So last night we went down to the beautiful Cafe Du Nord to see the brilliant Patrick Wolf. Curt had never been there! So I was excited for him to see it. The bastard has only been to San Francisco once about five years ago. I missed that show and have been waiting ever since to see him live. I have loved all 3 of his albums and have been waiting patiently to hear how they sounded live. I was a little worried that he would disappoint. It was hard to imagine him pulling off the brilliance of the albums in a live setting. But he literally blew me and everyone there away. I was expecting some over the top outfit and of course he met my expectations in this regard at least. I thought maybe some suspenders and a jaunty cap with a feather. He came out with a blue wig, shiny gold suspenders and little school boy shorts. He reminded me of a young Liza Minnelli mixed with Mccauley Culkin's version of Michael Alig. Maybe with a little Marc Almond and high school musical thrown in there. He even made a costume change half way through the show. He was joined by three young men on stage. Stand up bass, drums, and of course electronics. His violin player had gone back to England because of the "weather." The songs sounded great live and he was quite the little show man. He interacted with the crowd and told some great little stories.
He played a lot of my favorites from the first two albums. The live version of "To the Lighthouse" brought some little tears to my eyes. The highlight of the night was right before he came on stage. Five bears walked right in front of us to find their spot for the show. While a couple of them were obviously dragged to the show. The fact that they were there made me happy. It was overall a very stylish indie crowd. But its nice to know he has crossed the boundaries into bear territory. And I swear I saw George Lucas and Catherine Zeta Jones in front of me as well. The best thing about the show was how positive he was. He could have easily been a little mopey depressed emo goth on stage complaining about how horrible and tragic his life was. But he instead remained positive and optimistic. He shared not only his music with the audience but also a little bit of love. I left the show with a big smile on my face.
A nice pleasant surprise was the opening band for Patrick. A perfect match and complete opposite at the same time. No Bra is really hard to explain unless you were there seeing it as it happened. No Bra is basically one very unique lady and some pre recorded synths and drum machines. She reminded me of really early synth bands like The Normal and Cabaret Voltaire. She really had the crowd wondering if they should think she was the worst thing ever or brilliant. I quickly decided I was going with brilliant. Her dead pan delivery mixed with the minimal electronics somehow worked. And of course, she was wearing no bra. She was also wearing no shirt. The song "Munchausen" stole the show. It is bascially just a conversation between two hipsters showing off who they know and what they know. It reminded me of the recent Saturday Night Live skit where the woman tries to out do everyone by claiming to have done something even better that what they have done. It just might turn out to be the most unlikely song of the year. At least for me.
Here is a video of a recent live performance by the great Patrick Wolf...