Saturday, January 14, 2012

"You Know What I Mean:" Cults @ Union Transfer, Philly - Friday The 13th (Live Review)



Madeline Follin was even more beautiful and sultry live in concert than I could have ever even imagined! Her voice was a tad bit deeper than on record, but I think it actually sounded better in a larger-scale [concert] setting. A drummer, bassist, and multi-instrumentalist were brought into the fold to help beef up the band's sound, just for the special occasion. Follin belted out each and every passion-filled note as if she were a seductive, slithering Jazz songstress playing a gig @ a hoppin' Lounge joint back in The Roaring 50's. Cults proceeded to rip through the entirety of their 11-track Columbia debut. A few appended tracks were also added into the mix for good measure: "The Curse" (Cults 7" EP), a BRAND NEW Leonard Cohen cover, miscellaneous noodling and banter.


At the imminent close of said blistering set, guitarist Brian Oblivion muttered something to the effect of "Fuck that corny shit where the band walks off stage, pretends to hang out, and then comes back out for an encore!" Cults then played one final tune; After which the walked towards a cab, en route to Tony Luke's. Almost any acquaintance of mine knows that I go to a shit-ton of shows, but I've never really attempted to write a live concert review for the blog... an initial review which I can only hope did Cults' stage show some degree of justice. With that said, the overall experience was without a doubt one of the most utterly enjoyable shows I've been to in a while! - Babbling under-aged drunks and passionate, PDA-displaying lovers, of course not included.


Cults' aesthetic and stylistic elements almost constructed a dark sometimes mildly "creepy" undertone, which acted in stark contrast to Madeline Follin's cheery, 50's Girl Pop-esque vocal arrangements. The majority of Cults' highly adored set took place in near darkness; a lone dimly-lit spotlight cast on Follin as she aimlessly grooved along with the beat. Brian Oblivion & Friends [touring band] produced a layer of carefully constructed feedback-drenched guitar distortion. These backing effects were then backed by images projected onto a large film screen, which lay behind the group.
Oblivion's sampler produced snippets of pre-recorded cult-like banter, then under-laid against various images: black & white live feed of Madeline Follin, simple computer-generated effects, alternate Cults music videos, and random stock footage. An unknown sense of "Hip-Hop," maybe it wad the keyboard stylings or Boom-Bap drum beats... further meshed all of these miscellaneous elements into one Hell of an interesting stage show! In closing, if you ever get a chance, catch Cults' live show, my friends - I promise, you won't regret it! Cults are reportedly working on a Hip-Hop-tinged mixtape version of their self-titled debut. Complete with appended bars from some of Hip-Hop's most talented up-and-coming MC's.

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