By Troy Aldrich
Mission Creek veterans Wye Oak and Margaret Glaspy took the Englert stage, 221 E. Washington St., to début new music. Wye Oak’s set served as an album release show for The Louder I call, The faster It Runs.
“We have played this festival before but never in this capacity,” said Jenn Wasner, Wye Oak’s lead singer, about playing the Englert.
The band’s new album features a new bassist, adding a new flavor to the band’s electronic-folk sound. Previously, Wasner handled almost all the instrumentals while bandmate Andy Stack kept pace behind the drum set.
“It’s like anytime you’re in a relationship for 10 years,” Wasner said. “It’s always nice to add a third.”
Wasner showed the Englert audience her abilities as a multi-instrumentalist during the band’s 2014 hit, “The Tower.” Her abilities behind the mic are overwhelming, but when she picked up the bass, it became clear that the two piece was most comfortable with its original personnel.
In the new three piece, Wasner sticks to guitar and keyboard. This allows her voice to shine through the electronic and heavy drum beats generated by Stack.
This was a large contrast to Wye Oak’s opener, Glaspy, who came out as a guitar duo with Lage.
The duo came to show off some tunes that they have been playing as the band Rude Ruth.
“We have a band, Rude Ruth, and we just became them,” said Glaspy as she set her guitar down. “I bet you didn’t even notice.”
This came as a relief, because Glaspy’s first four songs were all from her first full-length album, Emotions and Math. The popularized tunes came out entirely dry, with no on-stage commentary or visible enjoyment from the two.
Lage, who produced Glaspy’s first album, brought a new flavor to the punk-rocker’s set. After playing duets from the album, Glaspy’s vocal talent emerged when she set down the guitar.
The Rude Ruth tracks came off as call-and-echo arrangements; Lage performed masterfully crafted solos, while Glaspy’s classically trained voice shown through the punk-rock lyrics.
During this portion of the set, smiles and laughter came from the stage, giving the Englert’s audience a breath of fresh air and serving as a smooth transition to the tail end of the set.
Glaspy went on to perform tracks from her new EP, “Born Yesterday.” She went back on lead guitar, and the vocals became fresh, while she performed “Before We Were Together.”
Sister Wife opened the evening at the Englert. The band from Rock Island brought familiar tunes but a new drummer to the stage.
The Englert’s stage was foreign territory for the indie rockers, as the members hustled through their set with little commentary.
“We don’t normally play places like this,” said Samuel Carothers, the band’s guitarist and lead singer.
The duo didn’t seem fazed by the large stage, though. Carothers’ lead lines and falsetto, paired with the new drummer, led to a dynamic show that served as a deserving opening for the triple bill.