How many of you out there suffer from band possession? You know you have BP if you find yourself falling in love with a band ‘before it got big,’ then pitching a fit when they do blow up. Losing a band to money and fame can be almost like breaking up. But you’re always secretly happy for them making it and proud of yourself for knowing them back in the day. Wildcat! Wildcat! is bound to be one of those bands. With slightly over 400 Facebook fans, but some 37,000 plays on SoundCloud since early February, we’re still sitting in the window to fall possessively in love with them…go ahead, indulge.
Now, before I go into detail about this show, I must admit that I have a slight advantage to the typical show-goer since I do know the guys in Wildcat. With only minimal amounts of information available out there on the group, hopefully I can reveal them to you a little more. If you had a chance to catch the Cats at any of their shows since forming, consider yourself lucky because there have only been four. Consider yourself even more lucky if you got to see them at their show last week at The Central SAPC. The place was packed, the energy high, and their performance was worthy.
Starting their set off with a song I’ll predict right now as their next “Mr. Quiche” (popularity speaking) was “The Chief.” The song gets you jazzed with an upbeat chant to “Get up, stand up,” and then lead singers Michael Wilson and Jesse Taylor take to that sweet falsetto trademark, accompanied by friendly keys and beat master Jesse Carmichael drumming your feet to action. Following a big starter song, the Cats showed their “softer” side. This doesn’t mean “boring” in Wildcat speak, though. When it comes to their slower songs, that just means they’re slow cookers. In “Arrow” and “End of the World Everyday,” the sound is so melancholy at first, with twinkling keys and dreamy vocals, but these songs inevitably heat up into hard hitters, perfectly lacing indie pop and hip hop (with a dash of Bowie and Nilsson to boot). “End of the World Everyday” is one that you can listen to before the EP drops, so take a listen (and a download) here right now. There’s a reason why it’s categorized under “sexytime.”
Next up on the lineup was a top-notch cover of one of my favorite ’80s tunes of all time, “Making Plans for Nigel.” Instead of trying to cover it to sound like XTC, Wildcat! Wildcat! shape-shifted the track into their own with eerily pitched oohs and deep, dark drums with added intensity from Jon Crosswhite on floor tom in addition to taking the break down at the end to a whole new level of heavy. In all honesty, the original is in my top ten of all time and this version was *gasp* as near to equally amazing as it gets.
Moving on, we heard the anthemic “Please and Thank You,” with an organ infusion courtesy of Andy Smith. Minding our p’s and q’s, we patiently awaited the proceeding crowd-pleaser “Mr. Quiche.” Now, many of you may be wondering what this song is about, but my lips are sealed. Some lyrics are best left to the imagination, but you can get these ones for free here too. Let the guessing games begin!
And for the grand finale, a song that I want to keep as mine forever, since I am a band possessor. “Marfa” is the jam, if you ask me. And I don’t just say this because they’re my people; I give you my honest opinion. Dropping into a nasty groove, “Marfa” is the danciest one of all, and it gets each of the five cats in a chant together at once, washing over the crowd with a triumphant feel.
After the last note was played, I experienced one of the best encore requests I’ve ever seen, especially for a small venue; people were straight-up screaming, sans pause. Not just clapping, but literally freaking out. The guys all sort of shrugged and laughed at each other, not really knowing what to do next. So singer/keys man Michael Wilson got on the mic and said “We would LOVE to play more for you guys, really. But we don’t have anything else yet. We played everything we have for you.” That seems fairly telling of the response as a whole for Wildcat! Wildcat! on a public scale…everyone is left wanting more, and the Cats want to give more. Patience is a virtue, little kittens…the EP is in the works, I have witnessed it first hand. Over and out.
Photos by Taylor Woods at Clothesline Photographs