Thursday, July 28, 2011
LIVE REVIEW - CULTS Back in LA @ the Echo - American Pancake
An ebullient CULTS hit the Echo stage last night to a crowd that eagerly wanted to drink in all the noise pop that Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion had to offer. I have had a crush on CULTS from afar but never seen them live and the difference between their recorded works and in person is pretty stunning mainly due to Follins vocal performance that, live, feels like it is seared with emotion. In songs like "Abducted" or "Never Heal Myself" (free from the pearly washed reverb on the album) Follin's voice is stripped down more bare and at times she seemed as love lorn and vulnerable as Winnie Cooper pushing away (and pining) for Kevin Arnold.
CULTS music is not only emotionally drawn but it is drawn with skewed lines. It is American bred adapting styles from 40's torch songs to 60's inspired be bop all fused up into this original dreamy concoction. It also has a dark side and CULTS smartly pushed the weird envelope by rear projecting some old movie (that I cannot put my finger on) behind them. The sepia toned imagery cast a cool eerie element to their performance especially in songs like "Go Outside" and "The Curse."
At one point Oblivion drew out slowly, "I've burned alot of bridges here" and spoke of LA as a place where people are always trying to sell you something. Follin quickly reminded him that there are a lot of beautiful people here as well. New York versus LA put aside, there was mad crazy mad love for CULTS and they deserved the adulation.
NOTE: I shot most of the set and to my dismay had some incorrect levels on my cam. Even though the footage looks like a 16 millimeter film that was pulled out of the garbage and the sound is not the best, I wanted to post it up anyway (if just for me to enjoy).