Wild Flag brings its big sound to Neumos’ small space

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The last time Wild Flag performed in Seattle the band was an infantile group getting a feel for itself and forging an identity as a band. Nearly one year later when Wild Flag returned to Seattle the foursome was firing on all cylinders and Wild Flag’s transformation from a fledgling group into a full-blown rock ‘n’ roll tour de force seemed complete.

Friday’s set at a sold-out Neumos was polished, professional and most importantly of all it was downright fun. The band’s members — consisting of former Sleater-Kinney members Carrie Brownstein, former Helium member Mary Timony and former Minders member Rebecca Cole — were all business and all smiles during their 60-minute set.

The dual vocals of Brownstein and Timony played perfectly off one another, Weiss proved once again that she is the spiritual daughter of John Bonham and Cole’s keys and backup harmonies gave each song a completely fleshed out feel that wasn’t present during the last time a Seattle crowd saw Wild Flag. It was clear Wild Flag has made its way through its growing pains and is ready to move on to the next stage of its career, which un an ideal world will be the stage when the “supergroup” tag gets removed and Wild Flag is seen as its own band as opposed to the sum of its members’ previous groups.

It was also clear the group’s four members were having a blast playing together. Weiss and Timony flashed smiles at each other between songs and Brownstein delivered countless leg kicks and didn’t seem to pull a hamstring even though she jokingly said her personal trainer worried that might eventually happen. Wild Flag delivered a set that was as fun to watch as it was to listen to, which is becoming an increasingly rare feat in today’s musical climate.

Songs like “Glass Tambourine,” “Short Version” and “Electric Band” were fully realized with big sounds meant for big rooms. The band played through all of its excellent self-titled debut and as an added bonus a couple of Wild Flag songs that have yet to be recorded popped up too. Two new songs, “Nothing,” one of the group’s more poppier tunes, and “Winter Pair,” a song with a wickedly fun tempo and groove, were peppered into the set. The encore of covers — The Ramones’ “Judy Is A Punk” and Televisions’ “See No Evil” — were icing on an already perfect night filled with big rock sounds packed into a small rock club.

The band’s obvious chemistry combined with the existence of new material hopefully means there will be more Wild Flag to come and that it will be sooner rather than later that Wild Flag returns to Seattle.

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Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 13 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, Crosscut.com and others and was the founder and former editor of the defunct music site Ear Candy.