The third time’s a charm for Operators. The first time that the band attempted to play DC last year, they arrived at the venue only to discover that a water main break had forced the city to shut down businesses on the entire block. The second time they were scheduled to play here, the entire tour had to be cancelled due to visa issues. Finally on Tuesday evening, the band made it to play before a sold out crowd at DC9, but it wasn’t without the risks.
“I made the band stay in Newport News last night,” said frontman Dan Boeckner partway into the set, “and I had a plate of oysters for breakfast, like you do in Newport News. And then I thought oh shit, food poisoning! But I’m fine, and we made it.” “We’re only halfway through the set,” warned keyboardist Devojka.
The band doesn’t have a lot of material yet – they released an EP (EP1) in 2014, but only just followed up with their debut album, Blue Wave, at the beginning of this month. Such a small catalog might be a severe limitation for many bands, but fortunately for Operators, every song on their debut is a strong one. The band ended up playing nearly everything they had – the entire album as the main set, along with several EP tracks in the encore. It probably also helped that the entire band is made up of veteran musicians – along with Boeckner and Devojka the band is rounded out by drummer Sam Brown, who had also worked with Boeckner in his previous supergroup Divine Fits, and by former Hot Hot Heat bassist Dustin Hawthorne. Whatever it was, the sold-out Tuesday night crowd couldn’t get enough.
Boeckner is a busy man – it was recently announced that the band he’s best known for, Wolf Parade, would be convening later this spring to perform their first shows together in five years (for now, just in New York, Toronto, and London). But amidst all of the more than justifiable excitement over the prospect of a Wolf Parade reunion (please, Dan, don’t forget about us in DC!), we can only hope that Operators remains an ongoing project as well.
Phoenix, AZ-based indie pop duo Bogan Via opened the show.