This entry shall begin as an open love letter to my new musical icon and hero, Patrick Wolf. Today is his birthday. I would like to begin by wishing him a very happy birthday, and I would also like to thank his mother and father for having him. This is a confession of the utmost admiration and love- but not in a romantic sense. I feel he is a kindred spirit with whom I share ideals with, and as he is a devout believer in the magic of music, as well as magic itself, I feel it is safe to say this without him becoming TOO incredibly uncomfortable. You are a beautiful person who has filled my heart with joy and has sparked a creativity within me I felt had long been dead. Thank you for reawakening that part of me that for so long has felt cut off from the rest of my spirit. OK, now that that's out of the way... Let me try to explain to you the range of emotions I experienced during Patrick Wolf's performance at the Highline Ballroom on June the 23rd, 2009.
The lights went down and sent me straight into the abyss of anticipation. All around me I heard the baited breath of those around me mingle with the chaotic hoots and hollers of the crowd. I felt my grin rip open across my face as if it had been sewn shut for years. Suddenly, the familiar pangs and electronic drones of Kriegspiel began. The stage was dark and ominous as an elegant and extremely exaggerated figure emerged from the back of the stage. The lights went up as the notes of Kriegspiel did, and up came the 6'5" frame of Patrick Wolf as the Vulture. Never have I seen nor experienced a performance that immediately electrified me without moving! Before I knew what was happening I found myself in the throes of exuberance and dark joy. I danced and shook the way I normally do when I am alone in my room. I felt no shame. Any telltale "eye-rolls" simply rolled off of me. I was too excited and full of a vivacious spirit to care. Every song performed rang more and more true to the nature of my being. I went through a range of emotions normally reserved for a lifetime. I experienced extreme joy, yearning, darkness, sexual sadism, masochism, righteousness, melancholy, romance, contentment, liberation, honor, bachelorhood, humor, and enchantment along with many other dramatic effects of the heart and mind.
That was all introspective. Here's what was happening around me; camaraderie. Every person around me was with me. I realize now that there was no one there to judge. They all felt it too. Patrick puts it best when he calls his audience his "tribe". This is truly what we are. We are a community of givers, believers, and magic makers. We are soothsayers and old friends (though we've only just met). There were many crowning moments for me. There was a certain intimacy with Mr. Wolf that is normally lacking when one attends a performance. I felt so close to him, as a friend, a comrade, and as a kindred spirit that he may as well have been strumming at his dulcimer in the corners of my mind. Again, I am sure I am not alone in this sentiment... but rather than feel possessive and obsessive about it, I welcome that sense of belonging, of understanding. As if this acknowledgement from the surrounding audience wasn't enough... as I was standing there, front row and center with Hillary, one of my newly found friends (from the video shoot, mind you) I realized that Patrick kept looking down towards me and smiling. There were moments where we'd lock eyes, I'd laugh- he'd smile, and I would simply beam and dance along. When- without warning, between songs- an acknowledgement came that I was entirely unprepared for. From up on high, through his microphone and down to me, Patrick Wolf smiled, looked me in the eye and said, "How are you? It's so nice to see you again! I see you've gotten all the paint off! How did you fair after the video shoot?" I was paralyzed. I smiled nervously luckily Hil answered for me- "We slept- A LOT!" There was some more casual banter- 'til Mr. Wolf realized he wasn't sharing this conversation with the whole crowd, "These are two actresses from my Hard Times video shoot I did here a few weeks ago!" A mix of embarrassment and great pride swelled in my breast as I turned, smiled, & waved at the applauding audience. Shortly thereafter, "Hard Times" came on & every time Patrick looked down at me and scrunched his nose and grinned knowingly at me I melted a little- the only thing keeping me together was the excited and supportive pat on the back from fellow tribesman Jesse.
Patrick Wolf is a powerful performer. He unabashedly shows every and any range of emotion he experiences on stage no matter what the consequences. He is unapologetic about his nature. This is the mark of a truly great performer, and I simply reflected this honesty.
I shall close with the candor of my opening statements;
I will follow you to the ends of the earth. I can't possibly say thank you enough. With all the gratitude and sincerity I can afford, I remain, humbly at your service. I look forward to the inevitable greatness that your music shall bring to me and all those in this tribe!
With much love, admiration, and respect,
Oh, and here's the INCREDIBLE set list:
Accident & Emergency
The Magic Position