A belated, brief review here. But I have to keep some sort of record of seeing my favourite band of all time – post-punk royalty, Wire – live.
It’s clichéd to describe a band whose longevity has left their members with grey hair (if at all) as “playing like a younger band.” But Wire played like old men. Old men who created the foundation for the post-punk genre with the hugely-influential and unmatched Pink Flag, old men who went on to explore and experiment with their sound across a diverse discography. Their experience was evident in a crisp, professional show; defined by passion rather than skittish enthusiasm.
Anyone hoping for a best-of showcase, a setlist checking off their biggest hits from their towering seventies records, would be disappointed. A couple tracks from their second album, Chairs Missing, made the cut, while the best song was the delirious, cyclical pop perfection of “Map Ref 41°N 93°W” (which was apparently the answer to a recent Mastermind question) from their third record, 154. Their newer music channels a rawer energy suited to a crowded live gig, whether it’s the spiteful “Please Take,” the incandescent “Comet” or the primal bellow that is “Harpooned.” Who needs youth?