Howlin' Wolf

January 19, 2007


Before their concert Friday night supporting Rebirth at the Howlin' Wolf, Glasgow wasn't one of my favorite local rock bands. I thought their songwriting was mediocre and that their instrumental virtuosity outshone song quality. But, for some reason, I didn't feel that way Friday. Let's figure it out, shall we?

The band sounded better than I've ever heard them. I mean that in both ways. Chuck the soundman did an awesome job mixing the Glasgow, but they also sounded tighter than usual. The sharpness of the sound was shown off by aggressive, prog-like changes in direction. This is not what I expected. I remember them being loose, lazy, and drunk on depression, not energetic.

And maybe it's not that Glasgow had more to say this time around. Maybe it's just that frontman Sam Craft did a better job of saying it. He seemed more confident. Still, if he was a half drop more sure of himself, the band would have really kicked ass.

At the concert I noticed guitarist Andrew Hartstock for the first time. He's a true lead guitarist who shone while Sam took rhythm duty and also played rhythm as Sam played violin.

The band was in good spirits, playing pieces of Saints-related songs and starting up a call-and-response of "Who dat?" with the large crowd on hand.

Maybe the band was previewing new material. Maybe they're moving away from less impressive songs like "Comfortable" and "Zombies." Whatever they're doing, I hope they keep doing it.

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