Sometimes it can be overkill to write a preview for a concert and then turn around a couple days later and give our thoughts and opinions on that same show in a review. I don’t like to post twice about the same band in one week either, but last night’s show at the Middle East was so electric that I could not resist.
To be honest I didn’t know what to expect last night when I descended the stairs into dark, yet vibrant room that is the Middle East Downstairs. Neil had told me that Wu Lyf was from England, he had heard their music on Sordo and beyond that there wasn’t too much more info to be found about them on the web. After witnessing last night’s performance I can certainly help to remove the shroud of mystery and tell you that these guys are the real deal.
Decked out in Wu Lyf gear themselves, the band took the stage after a very satisfying opening performance by Long Beach, California’s Crystal Antlers. The band kicked off their set with “Lyf” and the crowd immediately came alive. A small mosh pit developed directly to our left in about 30 seconds, and it only grew from there. As the band tackled the majority of their debut record Go Tell Fire To The Mountain the crowd became louder, drunker and sweatier (shout out to the tall dude in the white t standing up front who literally rained sweat down on me every time he jumped up and down).
Lead singer Ellery Roberts’ voice reminded us of Froggy and we totally mean that as a compliment. His deep, gravelly vocals were a refreshing change of pace from a lot of the music we have been listening to recently and it incited stage diving and general drunken revelry like I have not seen at the Middle East for quite some time.
The band played crowd favorite “Heavy Pop” as their final song only to return with an encore that featured a weirdly fitting cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game.” Don’t ask me why, but Roberts’ vocals and the band’s arrangement just made sense and the moshing didn’t even skip a beat.
The band closed their set with “We Bros” the anthem that some actual bros in the crowd took as their cue to start a fight in the middle of the mosh pit, something tells me that is not what the band was going for… As the show ended I turned to Neil and all I could say was “Wow.” This show was certainly the most pleasant of surprises and quite possibly one of the BEST shows I have seen ALL year. Make sure you pick up a copy of Go Tell Fire To The Mountain and check out a performance of “Wicked Game” below from an earlier show on Wu Lyf’s fall tour.