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REVIEW: Patrick Wolf Brings the 'House' Down @ Hollywood Forever

Jeffrey Ledesma |
September 19, 2011 | 2:27 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Patrick Wolf - by Jeffrey Ledesma
Patrick Wolf - by Jeffrey Ledesma
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., -- Although a blanket of darkness rolled over the cemetery providing a comfortable cool in contrast to the day’s inescapable heat, scores of people filtered in with musical notes dancing in their heads and beats drumming through their feet.

The more than 200 people crowded into the theater-like Masonic Hall with its two-story high red walls at Hollywood Forever to watch the creative genius Patrick Wolf live in the most intimate of concerts.

The British pop star’s up-close-and-personal serenade reinforced belief that there is something special in the art of live performance that you can never obtain by playing a record or listening to the radio.

The 28-year-old with the infamous red do certainly brought down the “House” with his soulfully smooth performance intertwined with raw vocal power, musical mastery and light-hearted anecdotal chatter.

Showgoers were served up songs off his new album Lupercalia as well as a couple sides of classic fan favorites.  

When creating his latest album, Wolf said he drew on Mexican music for inspiration. "The euphoria was listening to a lot of Mexican radio and driving from Hollywood to Santa Clarita and tuning out all the Ke$ha and the kind of Dr. Luke stuff, and tuning into all these amazing mariachi bands and radio stations," he told Rolling Stone.

Have you ever noticed there’s a roaring lion subdued at the beginning of his second single “House?” Wolf gave the crowd in attendance the skinny on the roar.

When he was producing the track here in California, he would have to drive up to Santa Clarita without anything to play music (cds, ipad, or ipod), so he tuned into those local Latin radio stations mentioned above.

Wolf told the audience that there was a host who used to play a roaring lion sound effect before each of her favorite songs by Beyonce or Britney Spears. So, of course, he had to have a lion at the beginning of “House,” which he was producing at the time, to subliminally make her like it.

Well, the lion surely worked because this is one of this reviewer's favorite songs off the album.

However, if one could award a few more lion sound effects, two that would deserve them are probably the best love songs of the century: “Bermondsey Street” and “The Future.”

He wrapped the concert together with an awesome throw back to his 2007 success “Magic Position,” an otherworldly performance that had the audience clapping in between lines and becoming a part of the musical performance.

This reviewer certainly had “The Time of My Life” and would do it again and again. Although the America leg of his tour is done, any fans or members of the wolf pack can catch him live in Europe in the near future.

So where’s the next stop on your backpacking Euro-trip? France, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Norway and, of course, the United Kingdom… Be sure to take a look at Wolf’s concert live dates and let yourself discover why live is always better.


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