Given the amount of people in Leeds Brudenell last Sunday who enthusiastically raised their hands when frontman Cory Hanson asked who had been at their show the last time they came to Leeds, Wand are not a band to be missed. Certainly after an hour and a half, a packed Brudenell would attest to that, whether they were there last time or not.
The band arrive on stage at 9, and over the course of their set, based around their brilliant recent album Plum, the band thrill the crowd with their take on alt/psych rock. Opening with this drone-like instrumental piece, what comes across is the polished musicianship of the five, with recent(ish) additions Sofia Arreguin and Robert Cody adding depth to the band, and giving the older songs spread around the set a new and fresh feel. Certainly Arreguins vocals add something to the band, and her swirls and synth lines already sound like a integral part of the Wand, as the band move through the drones to Plum staples such as High Rise.
The core of the band though is bass player Lee Landley, drummer Evan Burrows and singer/guitarist Cory Hanson – the latter two being sometime members of Ty Segalls band. Throughout the evening the three are brilliant, particularly Burrows drumming which is expressive in an almost jazz way, but manages to drive the band. Hanson seems almost shy, but his interactions are lapped up by the crowd, who seem intent on making him feel at ease. His guitar playing is fantastic, and he brings the songs to life with his vivid peformance.
Unafraid of exploration, without ever getting into jamming/noodling territory, Hanson bangs and thrashes at his guitar at points, allowing the shards of what comes over to be dissonant as the band play out these almost mathy, precise plays in loud and quiet, confident enough to throw shrouds of echo and dischord all over them, and equally so to leave moments of real quiet to play out. The crowd watch, transfixed.
Great on record, even greater live. You must not miss Wand if you get the chance to see them live.
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