Wye Oak at Trees, 7/5/14
Courtesy the artist Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack in more sweater-friendly times
With Pattern is Movement
Saturday, July 5, 2014
About a quarter of the way through Wye Oak's set at Trees on Saturday night, a mother led her three children through the crowd carrying a pizza. They retreated to the upstairs segment of Trees, sat down and proceeded to have the most indie rock pizza party of all time. Never stop being you, Deep Ellum; we need your weirdness in our lives.
Of course, given the mild tone of the evening, such a quaint moment didn't feel so very out of place. Maybe you can chalk it up to first night jitters, but it felt like Wye Oak was pretty subdued on stage. That's not to say that the energy wasn't percolating at the surface, as several times it seemed as if Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner were on the edge of cutting loose with their instruments and giving the room some of the romp and stomp that made Civilian such a critical darling in 2011.
It was a night of interesting cover song choices as Pattern is Movement did their usual D'Angelo cover and Wye Oak kicked off their encore with a rendition of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill." There are few things more interesting then a band delving into other material to see how they can give it a different take and both acts Saturday night put their own spin on two classic songs. That alone made the show worthwhile.
For the most part, Wye Oak stuck to the synth-laden material from their latest album, Shriek. With Wasner ignoring her guitar in favor of mostly playing the bass, Stack manned drums and keys to help concoct the dreamy sonic soundscape that shines through on the album. The result is almost a dancy, albeit restrained, vibe and the much older than usual crowd of fans calmly played along, half-muttering song lyrics and swaying along to the sounds.
The easy joke to make about the crowd at Trees is to go on about how Wye Oak appeals to the Cool Dad demographic, but that's really unfair to Cool Moms. Cool Moms love Wye Oak and they're more than happy to go to Trees, order vodka tonics and then get completely confused by the club's layout and bathroom placement. (Because of course it's their first time there.) More power to you, Cool Moms; you all have the good taste to not wear a Wye Oak shirt to a Wye Oak show, which is more than we can say for Cool Dads. Shame on you, Cool Dads. Jeremy Piven does not approve.