CMW Review: Wildlife @ Adelaide Hall, 05/10/14

Editorial and Photography: Amber Waves

Goodbyes can be bittersweet affairs.

Music festivals are no exception to this.  The excitement, the adrenaline of running from show to show, the delirium of sleep deprivation… all of it is part of what makes a music festival an experience us enthusiasts crave.  And when it’s all sung and done, when the number of showcases left are dwindling, there’s that need for one last bit of the magic, one last amazing moment to carry in the heart.

I chose my moment carefully, slipping between the throngs of like-minded individuals to take my place as Toronto band Wildlife hit the stage.

Wildlife is not so easily defined, despite the rock core of their sound.  There’s shades of the ephemeral, layers of sound that transcend into a realm more of the likes of Passion Pit.  There’s the grit and so-realistic-it-hurts lens of life best captured by classic punk bands — the reflection of the scars and stories of youth and how we carry them into our adult lives.  Launching their set with latest album …On The Heart‘s lead in, “Born To Ruin”, one gets the sense of a mission statement for band and audience alike.  It’s a harmonized chorus of uncomfortable truth, but the honesty is endearing, uniting.

The entire set plays out this way — from the sing-along inducing “Bad Dream” to the gut-wrenching “Killing For Fun” — in a building swell of sound.  Wildlife likes it loud, but not unnecessarily so.  Every layer, every sprawling outro that the band jumps, sways and sweats out, is carefully crafted.  It is a labour of love of high artistic calibre and for an hour, genre doesn’t matter.  Music simply is.  It’s a rare bird in the world, and I soar away with it on the final notes.

In the darkness of Adelaide Hall, we have been confronted with the secrets of our hearts — and we’ve loved every moment of it.

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