It’s been five years since Wolf Parade performed one of their final shows at the Sasquatch Music Festival before going on an indefinite hiatus. That was until they announced a new EP (it comes out next week), a residency at New York’s Bowery Ballroom, and a few festival dates (including Rifflandia). We didn’t expect to see the band around until later this summer, but that’s when we noticed Del Scorcho was playing some surprise shows on Vancouver Island this week.

Is it just me or does Del Scorcho sounds like the world’s worst Weezer cover band?

In preparation for their forthcoming North American tour, Wolf Parade has been doing a run of Vancouver Island dates under the alias Del Scorcho. The first of which happened at The Queens in Nanaimo. A show so secret and shrouded in mystery that we didn’t even hear about it in Victoria until it was all over Pitchfork and Stereogum the next afternoon.

Most of the band has called Vancouver Island home at some point or another. The small clubs and pubs they are playing this week felt more like homecoming shows than warmups for an international tour.

Dan Boeckner and the band joked about being unable to play at the Cobblestone Pub years ago because Dan’s dad had grounded him for doing acid. Many of the band members’ parents and friends were in the audience in Cobble Hill. Forgotten inside jokes were yelled at the stage and the band would crack up.

The band smiled throughout their show, eager to play their songs for an eager audience there just to see them. Even when they told the photographers to take a hike and let some folks up front, to dance it seemed light-hearted.

Wolf Parade played a majority of the new songs throughout the night from their upcoming EP4 — due out May 17th, 2016 — as well as a solid selection from their discography over the years. Notably, one of my favourite songs by the band, Fine Young Cannibals was filled with new frantic energy that can only come from being inches away from the band.

The crowd left the Wolf Parade Del Scorcho show with ears ringing from Dinner Bells, but keenly aware they were part of something special that might never happen again. A international touring band’s reunion at a neighbourhood pub in the sleepy town of Cobble Hill.

Wolf Parade - Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade – Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade - Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade – Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade - Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade – Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade - Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade – Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade - Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade – Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade - Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade – Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade - Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade – Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade - Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade – Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade - Photo by Tyson Elder

Wolf Parade – Photo by Tyson Elder