Finishing up their North American run in Minneapolis in support of “Cry Cry Cry,” the band’s first full length release in seven years, Wolf Parade made a triumphant return to First Avenue on the night of the season’s first snow. I walked a few blocks in the wintry mix of rain and snow and saw a lack of people waiting outside for the show, only to find that the crowd had huddled together in the pit of the main room, waiting for the night to start. I had yet to see either of the bands on the bill live before, and I waited in anticipation to hear music I have been listening to for the last few weeks performed live.
When the lights dimmed, and the opening band walked on stage, the room filled with cheers and excitement. Hailing from New York, self-proclaimed bubblegrunge band Charly Bliss warmed up the Minneapolis crowd with their quirky and tight-knit brand of rock. What made me the most excited about seeing their set live was the raw energy in which they performed; every member of the band felt in sync with one another, making their combined stage presence engaging and exciting to watch. Front woman Eva Hendricks’ eccentric charm was infectious, and fellow band mates Spencer Fox, Sam Hendricks, and Dan Shure all had a captivating stage presence, making it easy to relax and vibe with the sound Charly Bliss produced.
After the openers finished their set and right before the headliners took the stage, the crowd shuffled in to cover the entire main floor. The dynamic of the room changed the moment the projector screen went up and Wolf Parade took the stage; an eagerness took over the crowd as the band played the opening notes of their first song of the evening. After being on hiatus from 2011 to beginning to perform live again in 2016 to releasing their album “Cry Cry Cry” this fall, the band’s performance at First Avenue felt organic and emotive and well balanced. In their last performance in North America this year before heading overseas, Wolf Parade played a well received and lengthy setlist, featuring songs from across their discography, creating the perfect setting to start the weekend in.