Written By |Lindsey Sobkowski
Wild Pink played their final show of 2018 and their last show of their headline tour in Detroit, MI on December 21st. They played in El Club and brought on musical guest Michigander, whom Wild Pink had only met that same night. He was a very fitting opener and set the tone for a very low-key but emotional night.
Jason Singer, the man who is Michigander, was without his band that night. His solo performance made the acoustic set much more intimate. The lone electric guitar seemed to envelope the listener during a Sufjan Stevens cover. His gentle guitar strums and soothing voice were truly captivating. His lyrics held so much feeling and felt as if they came straight from the soul. Full of honesty, self-doubts and self-realizations, they were food for thought for the listener. It felt like he was unraveling his raw thoughts right in front of the audience, trying to answer his own questions. “I thought I would be somewhere else by now, I thought I would be someone else by now. But I’m not”. He played a couple brand new songs for the audience as well, one being Circles which the lyrics still spoke volumes “So tell me what you want from me, I’ll give you anything to make you my everything.”
In between songs, Singer added his own little quips and jokes. He spoke of his hometown Midland, MI and name dropped several audience members, making the experience feel like a gathering with old friends. It felt like a reunion that had no awkward tensions to be shaken off. He also spoke about the struggles the band have been having with putting out songs due to lack of funds (The link to donate to is here). Him being unafraid to speak of the troubles that come with being a band, even after four years, really breaks down a wall and gives him and the audience an even stronger connection. A connection that is truly special and one that is not found in many musical acts. Concluding his set he called for an audience sing along, the lyrics to the song Fears “If you find me, don’t ever leave me” being repeated by the audience, growing louder each time they were repeated. Michigander’s set can be summarized no better than what an audience member said as Jason Singer left the stage, “What the fuck? That was so wholesome”.
Wild Pink soon took the stage and continued the down to Earth vibe set by their predecessor Michigander, but they brought something else with it. The space was soon filled with riffs that were reminiscent of the 90s and synths that overlaid the guitar with tranquility. Their sound transported the audience to a place of serenity in some moments and then jostled them back to the club room with riff heavy rock. The ambiance of the synthesizers made for the smooth and polished transitions within songs. Front man John Ross’ voice carries the melodies with much grace and ease.
Their title track off their latest record Yolk in the Fur brings the full essence of Wild Pink’s set. The guitar riffs add grime during certain moments, and delicately breeze through the song in others. While their lyrics had standout moments like the repeated chorus of “It can’t help me now” in the song The Seance on St. Augustine St., instrumentals are Wild Pink’s focal point. Many of their instrumentals induced feelings of wistfulness and positivity. The swelling of guitars paired with frequent tempo changes, created by drummer Dan Keegan, emitted hopefulness and excitement. The same song, The Seance on St. Augustine St., in particular harkened to Weezer’s Sweater Song. This made it impossible to not head bang.
From the audience blissfully soaking in the music to energetically head-bobbing, Wild Pink bring something new to the table with their completely unique blend of sound. Those who were there to witness the show were truly presented with a gem of a performance. Hopefully they garner more attention in the New Year, as the only disappointing part of the show was the small audience. When told that the band deserves more of an audience, bassist T.C. Brownell said, “We have to pay our dues”. Let’s hope they pay them soon so Wild Pink can get the recognition they need to flourish.