by / September 10th, 2010 /

Electric Picnic 2010: Wolf Parade, Jonsi, James Vincent McMorrow

Wolf Parade
The second best band in Canada rip straight into the better, older tunes from the off. As the rain finally purges itself from the clouds above the tent Wolf Parade raise an almost-full tent to a sing-along, air-punching team with a blazing ‘I’ll believe in Anything’ early on. ‘Cloud Shadow On The Mountain’ soon highlights the weakness in the new album but a decent, if straightforward ‘Palm Road’ and a version of ‘What Did My Lover Say?’ that bursts at the seams gave promise to the new stuff. This band showed again their ability to lift the recorded tunes to a much more intense level live, even through some really bad sound made Krug’s keyboards sound out of tune most of the time. They only ever took a break from a full-on performance to thank the crowd for being awesome and ended in the 10 minute, multi-faceted ‘Kissing The Beehive’, wigging out a little bit long at the end but as we were dry and warm we didn’t mind a bit.

Trimming down his epic audio/visual experience of a show to one hour, Sigur Ros’ Jonsi loses just a bit of the suspense but nothing of the drama. ‘Icicle Sleeves’ begins things with a hunter vs hunted story in the stunning animation projected behind in the comfortably full Arena tent. The new album sounds much more impressive in these surroundings and the excitable Friday crowd were prone to yelps of joy as the show hit its peaks. All the band were attired in clothes with flowing parts and Jónsi was resplendent in his twisted, feather-embellished jacket and was much more active than in his Sigur Rós guise. The pounding ‘Go Do’ gave something nicely uplifting to an eager audience but there was a bit of a run-off in pace in the latter half as some of the weaker album tracks got an outing. This was soon forgotten as the set finished with the mindblowing eight-minute AV experience of ‘Grow Till Tall’, prompting a randomer to turn to State right after and utter “aah, that was alright I guess” before his facade cracked and he held his shaking head in his hands just muttering ‘fuck”. We gave him a comforting pat on the shoulder while similarly shaking our own head.

James Vincent McMorrow
Playing with the full compliment of all members of his assorted band members, the fresh looking Mc Morrow had drawn a decent crowd to the Crawdaddy tent for a 12.30 morning slot on the last day. Ideal music for this hour, there was none of the potential quiet hush a singer/songwriter might bring to a live show and the full and multi-faceted band sound was complimented by two harmony singers who complemented McMorrow’s falsetto. ‘The Sparrow and the Wolf’ was infectious and the many layered voices plus terrific sound gave everything a warm feeling. ‘Down to the Red Oak tree’ dropped the pace but he had the crowd on his side by then and you could hear a pin drop on the trampled grass, a song that sounded as intimate here in this tent as it does on the album. McMorrow managed to fit a long and varied set into a short 30 minutes and proved adept and engaging a live performer, with the help of an expertly combined band behind him, able to edit his songs into a most uplifting set.