On September 2nd, 2011, I had Tweeted: “I spent all day searching for THE perfect nail polish and listening to Cults.. Definitely the beginning of a stilettos/ false eyelashes weekend!” This statement offers a symbolic glimpse into Cults’ sound: a girly, indie-pop impending dance party.
Originally hailing from San Diego, but currently residing in New York City, successfully embodies the best of both worlds: California sun-drenched melodies laced with the cynicism of the city. Brian Oblivion’s guitar and percussion provide the perfect melodic backdrop for Madeline Follin’s sugar sweet vocals.
Needless to say, I was expectant and eager to see Cults live up to their hype. I mean, when a band’s debut album cover consists of a pair of long hairs completely ROCKING OUT, one form’s certain expectations.
I was not disappointed.
Last night’s show at Urban Lounge began with openers Mrs. Magician (of whom I unfortunately missed) and Spectrals. Spectrals is led by red-headed, British singer/songwriter, Louis Oliver Jones and while his website describes his sound as “Italian pop”, I’d define it as more sleepy, lo-fi indie rock with blue-sy undertones. Anybody even remotely familiar with the Arctic Monkeys or The Last Shadow Puppets could easily draw the similarities; Jones’ vocals are a stripped down, dreamier version of Alex Turner’s.
Spectrals did a commendable job of warming up the crowd for Cults. It is always refreshing when there is clear chemistry between band members and their enjoyment of performing is evident. The energy that was created during this set buzzed throughout the crowd as Spectrals exited and the stage was prepared for Cults.
That energy exploded into an all-out dance party extravaganza the minute Madeline positioned herself in front of the microphone and crooned, “I knew right then that I’d been abducted…” and the dancing didn’t stop for nearly two hours.
Madeline was successful in adding to the performance by playing up her almost stereotypically pouty, girlish charm; long raven black hair and ruby red lips. She pulled on the hem of her lace dress, while stomping and swaying as if to say, “I’m the lead singer of an indie-pop band, look how adorable I am when I sulk.” Although she stayed in one spot during the majority of the show, her stage presence was huge and very well received. Oblivion used the stage to his advantage, while playing the retro-y guitar riffs of “You Know What I Mean” and “Bumper”, but he and the rest of the backing band (I learned that the drummer, Cory Stier was doing double duty as he’s the drummer for Mrs. Magician.) left the stage personality up to Madeline.
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with Cults’ performance. Their recorded sound translates flawlessly live and Madeline Fillon’s allure is irresistible. Surely this is only a beginning for Cults; their ability to sell out large scale venues is undeniable. I can’t wait to hear more from them.
-Amanda “The Bearded Lady” Best