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Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Wild Flag at the Doug Fir
The show had been sold out for days, if not for weeks. I arrived at the Doug Fir around 6:45 to grab dinner. I figured I could just saunter over to the box office about 15 minutes before it opened to snag a rush ticket. No dice. There was already a line 50 people standing out front.
And so I joined them in the mist and chatted with a guy in front of me and three girls huddled under an umbrella. It was well worth the wait. After the opening acts wrapped up, Sleater Kinney alums Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss casually strolled out onto stage to set things up. The crowd politely left alone as they ducked backstage before an introduction.
I'd never been to a show before where no one in the crowd was familiar with the band's music. Wild Flag, comprised of members of Sleater Kinney and Helium, don't even have a website up yet and have yet to release so much as a single, let alone an EP. There is a Facebook page though. Brownstein acknowledged this between songs and apologized for some early snafus during the first song. "We're still on training wheels up here."
Still, sweet Jesus, what a show. Wild Flag is like a pop-ier, funner version of Sleater Kinney with a dash of AC/DC tossed into the mix. Brownstein's much more unrestrained with her guitar work so there was plenty of shredding/solos between her and the other lead guitarist, Mary Lou Lord.
I recorded a few of songs and about half of a cover of a Rolling Stones tune before my iPhone ran out of juice. I wish I had held out until Brownstein's "Race Horse" song. Combined with cheesy lyrics straight out of a frat anthem you might find on "The Brew, it may as well have been stadium rock tossed into an angry, jilted lady shredder. "I'm a racehorse! I'm a racehorse! Get on and ride! But, no, you better run! You'd better ruuuuuuuuuuun!"
As you can see in this video, captured by another attendee, Brownstein jumped around a bit and was really into it. And then she collapsed to her knees. Mary did the same and they both sat there on stage waling/straddling their guitars for a bit, totally lost in the music.
Afterward, Carrie sheepishly smiled and looked over at Mary.
Carrie: "Oh, nothing."
Mary: [EYE ROLL]
Carrie: "Yeah, as you can tell, Mary's really shy."
Wild Flag's first album is due out in the early part of 2011.