Published Sep 20, 2012Wild Nothing is the dream pop brainchild of Virginia native Jack Tatum, whose sold-out show at Il Motore was a warm welcome for this year's edition of the now 10-year-old Pop Montreal. In spite of unusually chilly weather — Tatum made sure to give a shout-out to the sound engineer for lending him a sweater — songs from his two acclaimed albums evoked summertime vibes that aren't too far behind us yet.
Supported by a guitarist, bass player, keyboardist and drummer, Tatum started off unceremoniously with single "Shadow" from Wild Nothing's recently released Nocturne. Aside from a few feedback hiccups early on, the fleshed-out live sound brought out each instrumental element for a sound more dynamic and dimensional than on Wild Nothing's studio recordings. This full-bodied live sound is certainly more flattering for his dreamy pop songs than the '80s new wave-inspired mixing used in the studio versions.
Tatum and his backing band especially pleased the crowd when they busted out an energetic rendition of breakthrough track "Chinatown" off of his 2010 debut Gemini, really brought to life by his surf-rock-reminiscent guitar style, his bandmate's pulsing synths and the mustachioed drummer's churning disco rhythms.
Wild Nothing may be Tatum's project alone, but watching him and his live band bob around the stage with their instruments in unison really gave a sense that the songwriter isn't all about having the spotlight to himself. And although the room was packed, the atmosphere was so laid back that Wild Nothing had before them a room full of fans bobbing along with them.
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