Monday, July 28, 2014

Merge 25 Night 3: Wye Oak, Destroyer

All photos by Kevin Norris
The penultimate act of night three of Merge 25 was Wye Oak, the formidable duo that just five years ago at XX Merge were relative newcomers to the Merge family and who had just released their sophomore album The Knot. The band returned to celebrate their second Merge anniversary showing off their incredible growth as songwriters and musicians.

Jenn Wasner skipped onto the stage giddily and then they launched into "Before" from their latest album and hit the crowd with one fantastic song after another. While the new music sounds incredible live, there is still the undeniable ferociousness of the song "Holy Holy" that landed in the middle of the set and followed by "Glory."

Wasner got to show off her skills as a frontwoman on "Logic of Color" as took a mic in hand with her other on a synthesizer as she belted out the song's killer melody. Closing things out Wasner strapped on the old six-string once more for the songs "For Prayer" and "Civilian." Wye Oak has only gotten better as they've evolved as a band and songwriters over the years and their best was on display to celebrate the label that has supported their growth.

Last but certainly not least Friday night was Destroyer, who took the stage for their first full-band performance in two years. And by "full band" I mean Dan Bejar was backed by a seven-piece band including saxophone and trumpet just as they performed in support of Kaputt.

The set started with a new song, "Dream Lover," before launching in a set heavy on the funky grooves of Kaputt including "Chinatown" and "Savage Night at the Opera." After heading back in the catalog to hit "European Oils" and moving forward again with "Kaputt," the band played a killer new song called "Times Square." If the two new songs in the set are any indication of what we can expect from Destroyer's new album it's going to be amazing.

After finding out they only had time for one more song the band launched into a lengthy version of "Suicide Demo for Kara Walker" and when they were given to the go ahead to play another song they launched into another epic song, "Rubies." It was a bummer that the band only got to play a relatively short set as the evenings headliners but all the cars needed to be cleared from the Cradle parking lot to build the stage for the next day's outdoor festivities. Hopefully the band will return for a proper show once they've got a new album out.

Wye Oak set list
The Tower
Holy Holy
Sick Talk
Logic of Color
For Prayer

Destroyer set list
Dream Lover (new song)
Savage Night at the Opera
European Oils
Times Sqaure (new song)
Suicide Demo for Kara Walker

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