The night started off with a great, melodic performance by Flagship, a five-piece band hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina. Following Flagship were The Static Jacks from New Jersey. I'd seen The Static Jacks perform with The Cribs earlier this month, but in the week and a half since I'd last seen them, they'd perfected their set. There were no awkward moments, no missteps, and by the time they played “My Parents Lied,” they had the entire crowd dancing and clapping in time.
While everyone had a great time listening to The Static Jacks, from the moment The Wombats stepped on stage, the real reason everyone was at the Middle East that night was clear. When the opening notes of “Perfect Disease,” a fan favorite off of the newest album, were played, the crowd went wild. Most of the songs played that night were off of their newest album, This Modern Glitch, a slightly darker and synth-heavy response to their first few albums. While the focus was on their newer songs, they didn't forget to include some of the hits off of their first CD. While “Patricia the Stripper” was nowhere in sight, they happily performed “Little Miss Pipedream” and “Lost in the Post.”
Switching back and forth between synth and guitar, Matthew Murphy played to his audience and they loved it. But my absolute favorite part of the show was bassist/back up singer Tord Øverland- Knudsen's excitement for everything. He was genuinely happy to be in Cambridge that night, and playing for all of us in the audience.
The music was fantastic all night, and everyone had a great time, but the last song was undoubtedly the highest moment of the performance. When The Wombats took the stage for their encore, it was clear to everyone in the audience what was coming, and, after playing “Anti-D,” the moment had come. Matthew played the opening riff of “Let's Dance to Joy Division,” the award winning single from The Wombats' first album (and my personal favorite Wombats song), and the energy of the crowd grew even higher than before, a feat that didn't seem possible. Everyone connected through the lyrics of a song about being happy, even when everything is going horribly wrong. In that moment, everyone in the crowd could take Matt's advice, and forget the bad times by simply dancing to a song by one of their favorite bands.
The Wombats are a band that you can't help but fall in love with over and over again. The boppy beats of the old music combined with the darker, emotional songs off of the new album made for a night that will not be forgotten anytime soon.
Photo Credit: Maddy Wojdak