The last time we caught Cults on the road, singer Madeline Follin and guitarist/percussionist Brian Oblivion were playing to thousands of burnt drunkards at Dover’s Firefly Festival, braving the heat with just each other by their side. At last night’s show at The Space in Hamden, Conn., Follin and Oblivion were packing way more power.
Now on the road supporting their punchy sophomore release, Static, Cults were joined with a full backing band, adding far more depth, energy and gusto to their dreamy set that’s chock-full of their signature echoes and retro pop melodies.
Having a couple more years on the road and that much more experience under their belt, Cults seemed far more confident in who they are and the experience they provide. Kicking the night off with a one-two punch of “High Road” and “Abducted,” the difference was palpable. It didn’t take long for the crowd to start picking up what Cults were throwing down, particularly looking alive during inevitable singles like “Go Outside” and “I Can Hardly Make You Mine.”
Cults is a fairly simple band, but their set is like happiness drenched in reverb with a big, large bow on top. Oblivion, Follin and company jetted back and forth from older tracks (“You Know What I Mean,” “Rave On,” “Never Heal Myself”) to newer (“Always Forever,” “Were Before”) without ever missing a beat…except to take a pause before the encore. They never left the stage though, because The Space is microscopic and Oblivion quipped that he didn’t know how encores worked there given the…uhh…Space.
SIDEBAR: I’ve been to a ton of shows and lived in Connecticut my entire life, but I had never been to The Space before. It was like watching a band you love in your friend’s basement, and I dig the shit out of that. So much, in fact, that I’ll be returning for Cloud Nothings and The Mowgli’s. Way to book, Space-venue-owner-people/Manic Productions! END SIDEBAR.
There weren’t any major surprises in performance or set, (though they did cover “Total Control” by The Motels) but that’s not really expected from Cults. That said, last night’s show was still rather cheery with tons of airy pop and all of the bonus frills chiming in at all the right spots (to reiterate: the full band really works for them).
They bowed out with the self-titled’s “Oh My God” after a little over an hour, leaving the happy crowd feeling lighter, higher, and full of good summery vibes. Nothing better than that in the dead of winter.