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Wolf Parade Returns To The Stage For Pickathon


Wolf Parade came out of hiatus in time to perform two sets at Pickathon this year. Friday's set was an exuberant celebration of a rare opportunity to see this band perform live.

Wolf Parade came out of hiatus in time to perform two sets at Pickathon this year. Friday’s set was an exuberant celebration of a rare opportunity to see this band perform live.

Shirley Chan/OPB

Guitarist Dan Boeckner’s smile during Wolf Parade’s two Pickathon sets said everything there is to say about music’s power to elicit joy. It was a smile electrified by the sight of a crowd whose lives had clearly been touched by the songs he had written. He absorbed the crowd’s gratitude and radiated it back. 

Wolf Parade went on hiatus in 2011 and no one was sure they’d get the chance to see them again. Their fans knew these two Pickathon performances were rare, and that another hiatus could be right around the corner. So the diehards snagged a place up front and sang along with all the words and cheered every time they recognized the opening notes to a song, and moshed even though they might be getting a little too old for moshing. 

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Scenes From The Woods: Pickathon 2016

Stories and photos from the Pickathon music festival in Happy Valley, Oregon.

The band provided high-energy sets both nights, though they differed in tone. Friday was exuberant and ecstatic, leaning toward shorter tracks (excepting the epic closer, Kissing the Beehive). It was a torrent of rain after a years-long drought, giving those who hadn’t heard this band live for years (if ever) a taste of all of the classics. 

Saturday was more spacious. The band played to the atmosphere of the forested Wood Stage and leaned into their proggier side. The band described their closer, Dinner Bells, as a lullaby and although it would have been impossible to fall asleep to the heavy, captivating squall of cascading guitars and synths reaching up beyond the trees, I did find myself lulled. I was lulled into a reflective mindset, thinking back to the places I had listened to the band and the people I had listened with, and all the way the music you love improves and embellishes your life. And it left me smiling right back at Dan and the boys. 

Pickathon 2016 Wolf Parade

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