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Wildcat! Wildcat! @ Boot and Saddle.

November 24, 2014

WildcatWildcat_Web (16 of 17)Text by Kyle Bagenstose. Images by Grace Dickinson.

When Philadelphians travel to the warm locales of southern California in the colder months, the temperature, of course, is a welcome change. But is the reverse true for a Los Angeles-based band?

According to Wildcat! Wildcat! frontman Michael Wilson, that’s a negative.

“I guess tonight is a little reprieve from the cold?” Wilson asked the packed Boot & Saddle audience last Thursday, a 35-degree night. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s fucking cold. We’re from Los Angeles. We’re pussies and we’ll fucking own it.”

The joke went over well with the crowd and was indicative of what was an undeniably entertaining set from the band from California. Utilizing a pair of synthesizers, bass and drums, the band sports a sound somewhere in between the pulsing synths of MGMT and the falsetto vocals of Passion Pit.

But what sets Wildcat! Wildcat! apart is the harmonizing of the vocals – on most songs, all four members joined in on the choruses, often building with the beat of drummer Jesse Carmichael and the bassline of Jesse Taylor.

The effect was a captivating 12-song set that had most of the crowd swaying, if not all-out dancing for the majority of the performance. Vibes alternated from the heavy synth sounds of songs like “Holloway (Hey Love),” which climaxed with a four-part harmony, to the drawn out, introspective synths of “Sentimental,” to the up-tempo, poppish sounds of “Marfa.”

But the band changed things up just enough to keep the audience on its toes, going with a much more traditional rock sound on “Circuit Breaker” and the utilization of break beats and cymbal rides by Carmichael in a number of songs.

But the highlight undoubtedly was the closing “Nothing Below,” which featured a minute-long jam out to end the song, with Taylor pounding passionately across all four strings of his bass as he staggered across the stage.

The appreciate crowd clapped and hollered the song’s reverberating closing notes to the their finish, showing that Wildcat! Wildcat! had, in fact, made them forget about the impending winter for at least a few hours.

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