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Wye Oak & Braids @ The Fine Line

May 16, 2014

Wye Oak and Braids put on a rad show at the Fine Line on May 15th, 2014.

BRAIDS

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Canadian trio, Braids, had the crowd at the Fine Line absolutely captured on Thursday night. Each band member was completely engaged in what they were doing, and that enthusiasm was very present in the music. Frontwoman Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s hauntingly gorgeous voice crept through the room like fog. Speaking of fog, about halfway through the band’s set, Raphaelle very politely said she had a “dorky” request that the fog machine be turned off because of her asthma. So adorable. But the decrease in foggyness did not diminish Braids’ mystical quality. The soft, yet powerful, vocals in conjunction with the band’s newfound elecrtonic-based sound was truly magical.

WYE OAK

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Wye Oak was by far the most humble, appreciative duo I have ever seen. Vocalist/guitarist Jenn Wagner followed every song with a sincere thank you, and responded to strange audience shouts without a hint of annoyance. The band focused on their latest record “Shriek,” only sprinkling in a bit of older material (and a killer cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill”). Because “Shriek” is funkier and relies more on synths, the crowd was grooving throughout the whole set. I formed a theory that Wagner and her bandmate, Andy Stack, can read each others’ minds because their performance was extremely tight. They were well-practiced, crisp, while still managing to seem laid back. There were a couple precious instances of prolonged jamming, which further exhibited both Wagner’s and Stack’s talent. Wagner’s guitar solo in “The Tower,” and the super-danceable chorus of “Schools of Eyes” were brilliant, and the crowd responded accordingly. Both Wye Oak and Braids delivered performances far above my expectations (which were pretty high) and I bet the rest of the audience could say the same.

Karlijn Holzenthal