Cults @ Black Cat: The Concert Project (January)

January 15, 2012 § 3 Comments

I was a little bit worried on the drive to this show. Normally, I prep for shows. I’ll re-listen to albums, I’ll look up band’s past setlists, I’ll even look up lyrics. It’s all part of what it takes for me to get to know a band and really enjoy them live, and I just didn’t have time to do that this week.

I was pleasantly surprised.

The Cults are fairly new (only about a 7 months old by their own admission) and they’ve got just one album, which I’m guessing they played in their entirety last night. There was never a moment where I felt like they were playing a bad song or a song I didn’t like. That makes me really excited for what they’ll do next.

Highlights of the show (I’ve included Spotify links to specific, available songs for the curious):

  • Abducted — They opened with this song, which has a lovely back-and-forth between Madeline and Brian. One point against the show overall was that it seemed like both of their vocals needed to be turned up, especially through the first few songs.
  • Never Heal Myself — There’s a lovely point of this song where all the instruments fade and Madeline sings, “Yeah I try to heal myself, and turn around cuz someone else, but I can never be myself … so fuck you.” You were really able to hear her voice — which is so clear and so gorgeous — and the expletive made the crowd go nuts.
  • You Know What I Mean — The band introduced this song as their “slow jam.” So much screaming and angst, I beg to differ.
  • Everybody Knows — If you’ve only got one album, you’ve got to do a cover. They went with a prettied-up version of this Leonard Cohen song.
  • Go Outside — They saved this one for their encore, and very politely told the crowd that, no, really, this was their last song — they didn’t do the thing where they pretend to leave the stage, we all yell, and they come back. This is probably my favorite song on the album … mostly because I like to pretend my cat is singing it.
  • The Crowd — The band played two shows at Black Cat, a 6 p.m. and a 9 p.m. We were at the early show, and I realize I’m old and crotchety, but the crowd was polite, calm, and sober, which was a treat. I’m not sure how often we’ll encounter that through the year. (Also, getting to go to a show AND be at home on the couch in my PJs reading a book before 9:30 p.m.? SCORE.)
  • iPhones — It’s funny to watch people try to take photos of bands with their phones, all the pinching and stretching and fumbling and holding up in the air and the end result is never good. Though, Scott got a few decent shots with his new camera:
Cults at Black Cat 1/14/12

Cults at Black Cat 1/14/12

Cults Overall Grade: B+

Opening Band: Dirty Fences
You know how, when you go to the movies, the trailers usually match the genre of the full-length feature you’re there to see? If you’re at New Year’s Eve, you’re seeing other comedies. If you’re at Haywire, you’re seeing action.

The opening band for Cults, then, ran completely opposite of genre. Dirty Fences describe themselves as “soul punk rock and roll” and it was a bit jarring — we learned the first lesson of The Concert Project:

Always bring earplugs.

Where Cults are pop and all sweet, twee, Urban Outfitters in their presentation, Dirty Fences are all black leather jacket and swagger. They played fast, with no breaks between songs — almost like they wanted to get it over with (which I appreciated). The second and third songs they played were pretty good — they’ve only got two songs on Bandcamp but I don’t think either is what I heard and liked. Maybe I’ll kick myself for saying this one day, but: I wasn’t a fan at all.

Dirty Fences Overall Grade: D

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