Review by Jess Goodman with Photography by Robert Barrett

There are few bands that master dynamics quite like Wand. Performing at the Hare & Hounds in Birmingham, the LA outfit brought their music to life with the spirited energy that they’ve become renowned for.

Wand

“Do you want to know something dark?” Darto ask their audience mid-set. Dedicating the show to best friend Jared Sletager, who passed away nine years ago to the day, the outfit reflect on the group they used to play in together. “The band was called pregnant, and it was only around for 9 months”. Commemorating their past as they celebrate their future, Darto perform a set of darkly swirling sonics with a freewheeling sense of humour. “Did UB40 really play their first show here?” they question, having seen the plaque commemorating such on the venue wall outside. “That’s really cool”.

Darto

Wand

Wand

With four albums and a recent EP worth of material to draw from, Wand don’t lay a moment to waste. Frontman Cory Hanson conducts the energy of the room with an untamed dexterity. Wild and wondrous, the outfit are heralded from the moment they take to the stage. Newer cuts, like ‘Perfume’ standout ‘Pure Romance’ are met with a thriving sense of awe, though it’s the band’s more driving numbers like ‘Blue Cloud’ and the long favoured ‘Flying Golem’ that really see the energy soar, strident guitar riffs echoing through the room as the gathered crowd sing along to the distorted melodies that resound. Thriving on the chaotic sounds they create, with their live performance Wand breathe a new energy into songs that already overflow with spirit. Theirs is a magic that flows unbound, and by the end of the night, with a rousing encore thrown in to boot, there isn’t a person present who isn’t under their spell.

Wand

See the full photoset from tonight’s gig here.

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