Ahead of an L.A. concert earlier this month, Wolf tweeted about how many have told him the group was the best it’s ever been — “our final form perhaps,” he added — before urging followers to attend because they wouldn’t be back for a while: “Could be a last hurrah of sorts.”
LA tonight. Many have said, under a Pentothal oath, this is our best show in the history of the band. Our final form perhaps. If you are a @whywithaqmark listener, don’t miss this opportunity to see it. We won’t be back any time soon. Could be a last hurrah of sorts. pic.twitter.com/EPQW43Ziok— Yoni Wolf (@YoniWolf) September 7, 2019
It seems highly unlikely that Wolf would be retiring WHY? at this moment, considering he just released the most impressive and engaging artistic statement of his career. After releasing chunks of it in installments over the summer, in early August, WHY? dropped AOKOHIO, a remarkable album that brilliantly spins together ear-worm melodies and slanted experimentalism in ways that feel both completely fresh and like a culmination of everything Wolf has done so far.
Adding to the allure of the project was the visual element — a full AOKOHIO “visual album” was released simultaneously. The film — like the music, an artful collage of styles and tones — was directed by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte and James Siewert and features Wolf, his bandmates (brother Josiah and Doug McDiarmid) and Emmy-winning actress Tatiana Maslany from the show Orphan Black.
So while WHY?’s appearance in the heart of downtown this weekend might not be your last chance to see them, given the power and magnetism of AOKOHIO, it may well be your best chance.
7 p.m. Saturday. Free. Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., Downtown, myfountainsquare.com.