Holy hell, this week flew by. It has been so busy that I haven't had time to do a review of the Wild Flag show at the Paradise last Saturday. But indeed, it was a fine rock event. I met up with good friends Dave and Beth for some pre-show food and drink at the Sunset Grill. We hoofed it over to the 'Dise to catch the second band on the bill, Hospitality, who played an interesting set of mid-tempo rock. The one drawback of getting to the club when we did was the place was jam-packed already and we ended up hanging in the back.
I had missed indie rock all-stars Wild Flag the first time they swung through Boston and wasn't about to this time, so I picked up my ticket months ago. WF is one of the best bands going right now and they proved it with a kickass 70-minute set. Former Helium fronter Mary Timony and current indie comedy darling/ex-Sleater-Kinney singer-guitarist Carrie Brownstein traded off lead vocals, as they do on the band's excellent album.
Brownstein said early on that her voice was shot, but she sounded great throughout. Timony seemed more at ease than the last time I saw her, which was way back in 1995 when Helium opened for Hole at the Orpheum. Keyboardist Rebecca Cole provided strong backing vocals, but for me, the star of the show was powerhouse drummer Janet Weiss (Quasi and formerly of Sleater-Kinney and Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks). For sheer Bonham-esque bombast, there's nobody better right now in rock. Weiss propelled the already awesome WF songs to new levels in concert, while Timony's excellent lead guitar work was a nice counterpoint to Brownstein's ragged punk riffing.
WF played most of the songs on the band's debut, including the explosive "Boom," the psychedelic "Glass Tambourine," the poppy "Romance" and the propulsive "Racehorse." But it was the covers they finished the show with that really got the joint jumping, including a Timony-led take on Television's "See No Evil" and Brownstein digging into Fugazi's "Margin Walker," which the band furiously slammed through. It was an energetic and amazing set that left everyone wanting more. The band can't come back soon enough.