7/1 – Nylon Summer Tour @ Antones

patrickwolf_04We were excited to be hitting up the Nylon Summer Tour at Antones, as the bill featured the likes of Jaguar LovePlasticines and Patrick Wolf. These are several bands we had been following for a long time, but had yet to get a chance to see on our home-turf.  Anxiously, we grabbed a few Lone Stars and awaited the evening with enthusiastic uncertainty. Follow the jump to read our take on the show.

Jaguar Love was the first band up, and we knew ahead of time that we would have a different show then we expected due to the departure of J. Clark from the group, rendering them a duo. Immediately, Johnny overwhelmed the audience with his manic dancing and high-pitched yelp. He and Cody seemed to be having a wonderful time on stage, constantly smiling at each other throughout the entire set. Unfortunately, the set lacked a lot for us as fans of the band’s album.  Really, you aren’t going to play “Highways of Gold?”  I understand that you don’t have the band to back it up, but they played to backing tracks the entire set, so why not do it here?  Their set ignored their album in exchange for dance-pop with a hardcore edge, which just didn’t seem to pack the same punch as the album.  Still, their enthusiasm made up for a lot of it as they frequently exited the stage to dance and scream with the audience.

Plasticines took to the stage next, donning their leopard print band attire.  Despite their somewhat kitsch appearance upon the stage, the girls have the hits to back up their adorable attitude.  Audience members sang in unison with the band during choruses, often louder than the band themselves.  Their combination of The Donnas meets Pipettes provided the audience with a fair dosage of genuine pop for the entirety of their set.  While it may not have been the most exhilarating performance, it won the crowd over, and prepared us for the headliner.

Now, I’ve followed Patrick Wolf for a long time, and I have always been amazed at the work he’s done. Still, his flamboyance and artful leanings don’t always translate to the stage, or do they?  He entered the stage in a black cape of sorts, but with a little bit of something on the shoulders, his hair and body coated in glitter. From the moment he took to the stage, he owned the room; you can’t deny the man has a presence on the stage.

His initial part of the set included a lot of the recent numbers off of his latest album, which I love, titled The Bachelor. His live rendition of “The Bachelor” and “Oblivion” made these album standouts come to life, clearly demonstrating that the incredible vocal range he possesses is not just some studio trick; it sounded ten times better live.  Patrick the entertainer took to the floor during “Battle” encouraging a great deal of audience participation before writhing on the floor as he screamed the chorus to those in attendance.  “Tristan” from the album Wind in the Wires also made the early part of the set.

One of the most refreshing things about Patrick was his graciousness and his response to his fans.  At one point, nearing the end of the set, he took several items of clothing from the audience and put them on, all to the delight of the fans. His grateful attitude was something that seemed genuine throughout, and you can’t really ask for more from a performer.

The end of the set is when Mr. Wolf brought out the hits, or at least the most well-known songs, though the audience, and myself, seemed to know all the words to every song.  Cody from Jaguar Love made his way onto the stage to bring a little rock to “Hard Times” while Patrick encouraged the audience to conga about Antones, to which the gladly responded. He closed the set by bringing on the entire entourage from the Nylon Tour for “Accident & Emergency,” one of the most joyous songs he’s written.  Of course, he came out one last time for a brief encore in which he serenaded the audience with thanks before jumping into “The Magic Position.”

After witnessing Patrick Wolf on this night, I was left to marvel at how down to earth he seemed, despite some of the acclaim he’s received.  His near-Bowie persona took on a life of its own, leaving me to believe that he might be one of the most special artists of our time, and one of the most underrated. All I have to say is that anyone that thinks Kevin Barnes is the end-all be-all, you haven’t seen Patrick Wolf.

The spectacular pictures are brought your way one again by Eric Uhlir. Do yourself a favor and check out the rest of his work on Flickr.

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