I was pretty excited for this gig. I’d seen Dustin Wong just about a week prior with Small Black, so I was excited to hear him play again; Ducktails in October with Deerhunter; and Woods in March 2010 with Real Estate. I was stoked to experience all of these acts again in the intimate space that is Golden West.
Dustin Wong led off, but like the first time I saw him perform at Subterranean A in December, I was unable to see him while he was playing. The sounds and textures he puts out are amazing, but it’s enhanced by seeing the speed in which he fingerpicks and the deftness in looping each layer. At this point of seeing him, I recognize some of the songs, which I think is pretty cool and makes it a much more familiar setting. Another downside was the amount of people that were there talking and carrying on during his set. Dustin Wong is a performer that requires your full concentration, and he just didn’t have it from some people.
I was hoping to see the Ducktails full band experience, but alas, it was not to be this night. Instead the birthday duck was again solo and put together a set that was built upon with each song until the end with, you guessed it, “Killin’ the Vibe,” which turned into a clap-a-long, much like at 9:30 Club. He threw in “Seagull’s Flight” and some other songs I didn’t recognize right away for a set that was a little short, but perfect in progression.
I got the impression that a bunch of people were there to see Ducktails play “Killin’ the Vibe,” because the place really cleared out as Woods took the stage. Playing as a three-piece with the occasional Ducktails cameo because of Kevin Morby’s absence with The Babies, Jeremy Earl, G. Lucas Crane, and Jarvis Taveniere put together a set that was like what I imagined Woods would be like when I first saw them perform almost a year ago. It was stark and emotional, letting Earl’s awesome falsetto take the lead. It was more of a laid-back feel, but at the same time, still intense and driving. I was transfixed by the performance and pretty bummed out when it ended. The band played tracks like Songs of Shame‘s “Rain On” and At Echo Lake‘s “Blood Dries Darker,” much to my delight. Again, however, a drawback was the number of people talking during the set and the people who didn’t really seem to get what Woods was trying to do. Either way, Woods was top notch and I look forward to the return of the full lineup.