May 12, 2017
The Cult have been a criminally underrated, but equally influential on the last 25-30 years of music. They were the forerunners of the marriage of goth and rock, transitioning to big rock, then settling into their own dynamic mix while always staying true to themselves. All of their various nuances shine the brightest in the live setting. This night was no different, with the boys delivering a beautiful and majestic mix of old and new.
Opening with “Wildflower” left little doubt that The Cult was here to satisfy. Then the boys mixed masterfully mixed in old favorites like “Rain”, “Sleeptime”, “Lil’ Devil” along side a generous portion of cuts from their latest “Hidden City” such as “Dark Energy” and a back to back, slow burning, sensual “Birds of Paradise” and “Deeply Ordered Chaos”. Ian and Billy surely know how to bring the show to the edge, then slow it down, with the brooding, introspective song, the ebb and flow of the visceral rock of “Fire Woman” and the jangly “She Sells Sanctuary” were the perfect end of the regular set. I’d be remiss to mention the singalong if “Sweet Soul Sister”, the nice treat of including “Phoenix” and “Honey From a Knife” all during the regular set. As for the encore, Ian led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to one Billy Duffy, who happens to be the coolest mofo to ever strap on a guitar. Back to business, “Peace Dog” was excellent, as always. “Nirvana” was fantastic. Bookending the evening with another cut from “Electric”, these gentleman launched into “Love Removal Machine”, which is the rightfully mandatory closer to their show.
Ian Astbury’s distinct vocal delivery, full of power and emotion was in fine form. With his subtle coolness, combined with his workmanlike mastery of his instrument, Billy Duffy stole the spotlight, as always. John Tempesta had proved to be a viable asset to The Cult over the last decade plus on the drums. The live ensemble was rounded out by Grant Fitzpatrick on bass and Damon Fox on keyboards/rhythm guitar.
Although I loved the song selection, I’d have loved to hear songs from “Ceremony” and “Beyond Good and Evil”, but I’d have watched them perform for hours, given the opportunity. Then again, it’s The Cult, every song this night was magic.
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