This last minute, unexpected show was a delight for me to cover. I have been listening to both Eleanor Friedberger and Wild Flag’s new records on repeat for the last month.
Eleanor Friedberger, one half of the band Fiery Furnaces, released her debut solo album Last Summer in April and in her words, “was a decision based mainly on my own limitations and my own cheesy personality.” But her sound was nothing close to cheesy or limited. The album both shares her signature chaotic vocal patterns and her constant tempo changes. And her live performance was significantly more guitar driven than the album would have you believe. But considering she was opening for the rock vets behind Wild Flag, the harder renditions transitioned better as a warm up.
Then there was the headliner Wild Flag, toted as an indie supergroup to the displeasure of front woman Carrie Brownstein. This all-woman band of indie veterans was nothing close to amateur; they were seasoned professionals playing songs that seemed more suited for restless teenagers. The catchy nature of the tracks came off of their debut self-titled album Wild Flag and had the crowd hooked from the first chord. Carrie Brownstein was electric and furious at times; she commanded attention like a London riot. She first came on my radar in 2008 when I began listening to NPR All Songs Considered where she would often give her unapologetic opinions of bands. But after listening Wild Flags’ record and seeing Brownstein in her element, on stage, I understand where her opinion comes from.
She holds the music she listens to, to the same standard that she holds herself to. A seemingly unfeasible bar of expectation had a feeling of effortlessness for her.
Mary Timony was also nothing shy of a delight, a perfect yet unconventional pairing for the chaotic Brownstien. But the moments when their vocals came together for harmonies or they exchanged guitar rifting jam out sessions, it was magic.