RECAP: Wild Child on MAR 5 at Brooklyn Bowl New York

Posted on Tuesday March 7th in

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Words by Sarah Finegold

In times of distress or fear, music can be a true refuge. On March 5th Wild Child—an astonishingly tight 5 piece originally hailing from Austin, Texas—rendered the outside world both irrelevant and immaterial. After a fantastic opening set from blues rock outfit The National Reserve—with a little harmonica magic from Wild Child’s Matt Bradshaw—Wild Child took the stage with a true sense of humor. Bradshaw, on a dark stage, opened by mock-playing the epic “Chariots of Fire” theme in varying degrees of zany ie. pounding the keyboard backwards and previewing the bands good-natured sense of humor. Though the bandmates very clearly have fun and make the audience laugh, there is no ego or irony to this performance. In fact, one of the things I found most refreshing and uplifting about the set is that it was performed with a true dearth of irony that felt singular. Regardless of the emotions evoked by the song, there remained an underlying sweet earnestness that carried the tone of the show.

Clearly, this is an extraordinarily talented ensemble. Sadie Wolfe’s electric cello adds a fullness to their compositions. Bradshaw’s horn chops also work to contribute to a sound that has gotten bigger and more ambitious with each album they’ve made. Judging by the new tracks that the audience gobbled up with fervor, their next album will debut an even more capacious, wider reaching sound. Alexander Beggins is the perfect vocal partner to go toe-to-toe with lead vocalist Kelsey Wilson while finishing off the sound with his baritone ukulele.

Speaking of Kelsey Wilson, my god. We need to talk about this person. Hearing her sing live made me feel the same way I do when watching an acrobat perform impossible high-flying feats. HOW DO THEY DO THAT?! Every time she opens her mouth, the result is an astounding sonic gift delivered with ease and style. And while hitting every conceivable note, she never falters in her charm and spunk, maintaining an electric connection with the room. Even her outfit exuded casual cool, with yellow-tinted glasses and a LOL-worthy denim jacket embroidered with the phrase “Skate or Die or Don’t.” When starting on old songs, she would happily instruct, “if you know it you gotta fucking scream it!” and the crowd would oblige. She had everyone eating out of the palm of her hand; so much so that she convinced the entire crowd to SIT ON THE FLOOR OF A MUSIC VENUE as she serenaded them with her angel’s voice.

The set was a balanced sampling of the Wild Child discography, with tracks from all 3 studio albums and with some great new tunes peppered in. Another strength of this band is their clear songwriting chops—every one of their albums is full of standout tracks. From the opening “Pillow Talk” to “Fools” and the encore of “The Tale of You & Me,” a large contingent belted the words to each song right back at the band, while others hearing them for the first time swayed happily like leafy ferns caught in a breeze, entranced by the sirens vocals of Wilson and the onstage chemistry of the entire delectable act. Wild Child has mastered the art of creating and maintaining intimacy, despite the size of the venue. Their set felt like if you took a campfire sing-along and added large-scale production and a few more friends than could fit around the typical campfire. Even after the show, I am still clinging to that warmth.

Check out our favorite shots from Bret Berman and Christian Koerwer below:

Above photos courtesy of Brett Berman | | @BCBerman

Above photos courtesy of Christian Koerwer | | @christian_koerwer


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