The Grapes of Wrath played a private show on Tuesday night at the SoHo house, an elegant members-only club. With the pre-show hype established, I was excited to see how they would celebrate the release of their first album in 22 years. They performed in front of a fireplace with an impressively sized moose-head hovering over the drummer, but once they started playing, they definitely stole the moose’s show.
Songs alternated between old ones, which succeeded in getting the audience to cheer and sing along and new tunes from the fresh-of-the-press album, called High Road. Bassist Tom Hooper introduced his brother, Chris, as “the handsome fella on drums; seriously, look at him” and prompted fellow singer-songwriter Kevin Kane to share something only he knew about his bandmate: “Tom has the greenest thumb I know. And that’s Patrick on keys, you’ll see him roaming the city.” Their spontaneity livened up the atmosphere and made them seem approachable. It’s always a treat to get to know the artists through more than just their songs.
The musical performance itself was flawless, showcasing the members’ talent and years of experience. The band originally from Kelowna, BC, set an easygoing mood with their famous folk-pop sound. Old and new fans realized that the new album will likely be a continuation of what they loved about this band.
The performance was made even more memorable by the various funny moments throughout the show, such as Tom adjusting his glasses on the microphone or Kevin thanking the SoHo House for having them: “this is like playing a basement party at the Buckingham Palace.” After the show, the band members mingled with friends and fans, carrying on the low-key, relaxed mood they set with their musical performance.