Live Review: Jonathan Boulet, Wolves At The Door

12 July 2012 | 9:55 am | Scott Aitken

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Indie kids and hipsters alike arrived at Amplifier on Saturday night to see Jonathan Boulet's final show in support of his sophomore album, We Keep The Beat, Found The Sound, See The Need, Start The Heart. Local trio Wolves At The Door weaved dual guitars and sweet boy/girl harmonies over a drummer with some serious chops. The set list included highlights Colours and Bells, as well as tracks from their upcoming release Wolves At The Door II. Considering their subdued, melancholic performance, the band seemed a strange choice of opener for Boulet. After a few songs however the crowd warmed to them and they got a great response by the end of their set.

As Jonathan Boulet and his four-piece band (five if you include Boulet's exceptional Ned Kelly beard) took to the stage, the screech from a feedbacking guitar and the massive spike in volume were a sign of things to come. Overall, there's one word to describe the performance: loud! Ear-splittingly, face-meltingly loud. Kicking into Hallowed Hag, the band smashed out the driving rhythm and heavy percussion, which only intensified with the chaotic sound of clashing guitars. Trounce had the audience shouting out the lines “I don't even know what I said/I'm a meathead born and bred,” like their life depended on it. The Caribbean-influenced A Community Service Announcement got the band to relax momentarily which helped add some extra dynamics to the performance despite the harmonies not quite being up to scratch.

Boulet and the band dug deep for set closer You're A Animal, hammering away at the central riff and sing-along chorus while growing more wild and frantic with each repetition until the whole song fell apart. While it was unfortunate the band only played for 45 minutes and didn't do an encore, it was doubtful they could have pushed themselves any further without completely obliterating the PA system. There are two things I learnt from my first Jonathan Boulet gig: First, “The Great Bearded One” and his band have enough energy to power a small city, and second, next time I'm bringing earplugs.