I saw Wolf Parade open for Arcade Fire at Montreal’s the Sala Rossa in 2003. It was the first time I’d seen band. You’d remember that show no matter what probably, on account of both of the bands made it—one big, one super big. But you’d have remembered that show anyway no matter what. The show seemed to arrest the audience, like idle chatter, as well as time itself, just stopped. Here is The Hour’s John MacFarlane praising the show in his 2003 Best of the Year list.
“4. The local show that smoked: Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade and Bell Orchestre at Sala Rossa, Sept. 9. Three very gifted, frequently iconoclastic local groups produced a room full of perpetually dropped jaws, complete with hanging strands of drool (okay, not really).”
I didn’t see Wolf Parade again until last night, at the WISE Hall in east Vancouver. Sixteen years is a long interval. They still seem like the best rock band going to me. “Like getting punched in the heart were your exact words on describing the music you heard…”
Built in 1926, The WISE Hall (formerly the W.I.S.E.—Welsh, Irish, Scotch, English—Hall) is one of the few performing venues in Vancouver that doesn’t feel like it’s been designed by a corporation, refurbished by professional designers, and maintained by a top-notch custodial crew. In their shininess, these clubs all start to seem the same. There was still character throughout The WISE Hall, patina to spare: I feel like the original WISE people would be pleased to see the space still functioning as a vibrant community hub, nearly a hundred years later.
"Wise Wolf" is how Savio Volpe, the upscale Italian osteria on Kingsway, translates. This post is not about that wise wolf. If It were it would i would tell you that Savio's kale salad--kale, lemon pepper dressing, pecorino, pangrattato--is almost certainly the best use of kale in the history of the vegetable.