Concert Review: Wild Flag at the Grog Shop


Wild Flag rocks convincingly. For instance, the group's show at the Grog Shop last night convinced us that we need more Carrie Brownstein in our lives. That Sleater-Kinney died before its time. That playful hooks and intricate riffs backed by pounding drums are not a bad way to spend a night. And that we could really use more Carrie Brownstein in our lives. Did we say that already?

The ex-pats of Helium, The Minders, and Sleater-Kinney roared through material from their self-titled debut at the Grog. Not surprisingly, the two standout songs from the disc — Romance and Future Crimes, both with Brownstein on vocals — were the most rollicking. Each bore that polished nod of a Sleater-Kinney song and each would have been perfectly at-home on "The Woods," the band's seventh and final album.

Whatever temptation there is with an all-girl group, especially an all-girl supergroup, to fall easily on to one of two sides — writing off critical success as leniency on the part of critics, or lavishing unfiltered and unexamined praise — Wild Flag, as we said before, rocks convincingly on their own merit There are weak tracks to be sure, but from start to finish, it's one of the best releases of the year and that was no different live: Brownstein animated, Mary Timony coy and strong with a slightly husky voice, and an on-note energetic performance, all the more impressive for how many shows they've played together.

And the rock. Songs bended and detoured into aggressive jams — Brownstein at one point said, "You like the jam, right? You like Pink Floyd? Well, you better, because we're going to jam. And they did. After the jump, video from one of their live performances. Sadly, not filmed at the Grog last night, but you'll get the idea.

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