Wolf Parade / We Are Wolves Phoenix, Toronto ON April 7

Wolf Parade / We Are Wolves Phoenix, Toronto ON April 7
"We're called Wolf Parade. Thanks for having us," Dan Boeckner modestly quipped, as if every person in the sold-out Phoenix wasn't there solely to see the Montreal quartet play their first Toronto show in nearly two years. With just a couple months left until the release of their highly anticipated third LP Expo 86, fans were expecting at least a taste of the new album, but they got a heaping bowlful instead: new songs made up nearly half the set list, while the gaps were filled with fan favourites from the band's back catalogue.

The show kicked off with the triumphant stomp of "You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son" and "Soldier's Grin," the opening tracks from Wolf Parade's 2005 debut Apologies to the Queen Mary and 2008 follow-up At Mount Zoomer, respectively. The former album was favoured a little more during the show, with classics like "This Heart's On Fire," "Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts" and crowd favourite "I'll Believe In Anything" making up a large portion of the set, compared to the mere four songs - including the fantastic, frenetic cascade of "California Dreamer" - from the latter.

There was no shortage of good vibes going around, either: Wolf Parade's new tracks reflected, in their synth-centric lightheartedness, a move further away from the fieriness of their debut and towards a sunnier sound that grooves where the band used to lurch. A mid-set phone call during which the crowd sang to co-front-man Spencer Krug's mother on her birthday only aided the band's joyous momentum.

"Thank you to We Are Wolves," Krug said as they launched into the final song of the night - referring the opening trio's blistering 40-minute set of rhythm and thrash - "and thank you," he offered to the fans, "for humouring us as we tested out our new songs."

Any time, Wolf Parade, any time.