Supergroup Wild Flag Returns to The Casbah
Featuring members of Sleater-Kinney, Helium and The Minders
Wild Flag, the new band formed by two-thirds of Sleater-Kinney (guitarist/vocalist Carrie Brownstein and drummer/vocalist Janet Weiss) and indie stalwarts Mary Timony (Helium) and Rebecca Cole (The Minders) touched down at The Casbah on Tuesday November 1, with Portland’s Drew Grow and Pastors’ Wives in tow.
Earlier this year Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives headlined a show at Bar Pink in North Park to a small crowd, but that didn’t stop them from performing like they were in front of a sold out crowd. Touring with Wild Flag must be gaining them a slew of new fans, because they do not disappoint. Drew Grow and his trio of backing members played a set of songs from their self-titled full-length album (out on Amigo/Amiga Recordings), and sounded amazing while doing so.
The quartet played with a lot of soul and raw emotion, which was amplified by the three and four-part vocal harmonies being belted out by everyone in the band. Bassist Kris Doty alternated between an electric Rickenbacker and a stand-up bass, depending on whether the song was more upbeat rock and roll or had more of a country-ballad feel. However, trying to pin down Drew Grow into a specific genre is doing him a disservice, as his music is deep and breadth that makes it hard to classify.
Wild Flag took the stage and the crowd went nuts. They launched into a set that seethed with energy, Mary Timony and Carrie Brownstein volleying back and forth on lead vocals and all four women singing during many of the choruses. Wild Flag just released their self-titled debut full-length on indie powerhouse Merge Records, so most of the songs were from the album. They aren’t performed note-for-note, which could make the live show uninteresting; several of the songs extended into long guitar jams.
Both Timony and Brownstein have serious guitar chops, and they aren’t afraid to show it. Weiss is one of the more proficient drummers in the indie world, male or female, and she makes it look effortless. The band obliged the crowd with a two-song encore of covers, and they did a version of Television’s ‘See No Evil’ that felt just as modern and fresh as the rest of their set.