Erika Goldring / Getty Images – Vulfpeck
Vulfpeck perform at Austin City Limits in 2017.
Maybe this is what they’ve had in their back pocket.
Vulfpeck, the funky Michigan band that earned an adoring following with infectious songs like “Back Pocket” and an energetic live show to match, announced their first headlining gig at 20,786-capacity Madison Square Garden Friday. The band will play the famed arena on September 28.
Formed in 2011, Vulfpeck have endeared themselves to fans with their atypical approach to the music business. As their Madison Square Garden press release confirms, the band operates without a label or management. And they’ve made some business decisions that industry vets surely wouldn’t have given the green light.
For instance, in 2014, the band released Sleepify, an album comprised of 10 silent, 30-second tracks. Vulfpeck planned to use the revenue — they’d take home $6 from Spotify if a fan streamed Sleepify on loop during a seven-hour sleep cycle — to fund a tour of free shows, with an itinerary based on which markets streamed Sleepify most. (Spotify eventually asked Vulfpeck to remove the album, but not before it netted them several thousand dollars.)
The band may not have a traditional management team, but it is operating quite well under the capable guidance of a team of Paradigm agents in Tom Windish, Jackie Nalpant and Aaron Pinkus.
The band has released a project every year since forming, first with EPs from 2011 to 2014 and then with full-lengths from 2015 to 2018. The relentless release cycle has helped their live profile grow dramatically. Take the New York market. In 2015, Vulfpeck played two shows at Brooklyn Bowl, which holds 600. The next year, they played three shows at the venue. In 2017, they moved up to the 1,800-capacity Brooklyn Steel, playing a three-night stand there. And last September, the band played two consecutive nights at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre, which holds roughly 3,000.
They’ve had success elsewhere, including Colorado, where they’re slated to headline Red Rocks Amphitheater for a second consecutive year come May.
Vulfpeck bassist Joe Dart’s band The Fearless Flyers will open the Madison Square Garden show. Tickets for the concert go on sale on February 1 at 12 p.m. ET.