Will Butler took the stage of the Bishop on Tuesday night (3/24) to begin touring for his recently released debut solo album: Policy. Anticipating the performance I mulled over Policy four or five time throughout the day, leaving me pondering how long the set would actually last. Policy lasts a mere 27 minutes. I found myself wondering how long the show would actually last. Would he just play Policy front to back, hop off the stage, throw the deuces, and leave us? Engulfing the majority of my thought all day, would Will play any renditions of Arcade Fire in the extra time of the set?
Hearing Things took the stage first, playing an intriguing mix of saxophone, electronic tenor and bass organ, and drums. Swinging rhythms, howlin’ sax, and thumping beats belted out into the crowd in the form of modern electronic touched swing music. By the end of Hearing Things set, the crowd awaited eagerly for Will Butler to take the stage.
While the band set up the stage. Will Butler prepared the stage with band members blazoned in a sweater bearing Will across the front. Band members Miles (drums), Julie (keys), and Sarah (keys) enter stage right.
Butler took the stage by storm, electrifying the crowd with five straight songs without pause or skipping a beat. The opening two tracks didn’t find themselves among the tracks on Policy, yet it didn’t stop the crowd from grooving along all the way. Butler continued with “What I Want”, then two more new songs not on the solo debut. After the first respite and a little bit of crowd banter, the band hurdled into a spell of tracks from Policy.
Launching into “Something’s Coming” the crowd ruptured into a sea of bobbing, jittering, spastic movement. Fueled by the Butler’s stage antics falling between a cross of Elvis and David Byrne, the crowd reciprocated energy in step. Will’s dancing shoes, black dress shoes with neon green and orange elastic formed a focal point for everyone’s attention during the on stage “dancing”. When “Anna” broke out, the floor reverberated up and down like a trampoline from the horde dancing fans. The 80’s synth lines paired with the band interaction created an intimated high energy atmosphere continuing into “Son of God”.
Break *silence falls*
Butler memorized the crowd with “Sing to Me” and “Why Don’t You Leave”, the latter another track not of the album. Not a peep from the crowd was uttered throughout the two songs invoking the feels, sending goosebumps down the spine listening to the highs and the lows brought forefront from Will’s vocals and soft instrumentation.
The crowd came back to life for the rest of the set, culminating in the opening track to Policy: “Take My Side”. Dancing all the way through the crescendo of the song right on through to the end just wasn’t enough for the thrilled watchers on. Everyone wanted more, what was best, the crowd didn’t start the one more song chant as per usual at the end of the set. Clapping did the talking, Will and his band reciprocated the call for an encore in an incredible fashion. Upon taking the stage Butler preempted the gathering with a spoiler alert “We’re going to do a slow song and a party song.”
A soft acoustic guitar track back by the incredible “If you tell me where you are” harmony of Julie and Sarah cooed in the background made for another spellbinding track. “The party” track was one of unique fashion, Miles jumped into the crowd followed by the rest of the band. Will, guitar in hand, formed a circle in the crowd and played their final tune in the thick of the mass, a truly amazing ending to an anticipation shattering show.