Cults, the New York-based indie pop band, certainly know how to work a crowd.
They performed that feat last Friday during a concert at the Loft in Midtown Atlanta.
A small, intimate venue, the Loft was extremely conducive to Cults’ sound.
“The Loft definitely created a more personal experience and accentuated Cults’ sound,” said College freshman Jasmine Tang, who previously saw Cults perform at an outside venue.
The show opened with short sets from alternative rockers Mood Rings and Sacco.
Mood Rings, a local Atlanta band, sent the crowd back to the ’90s with their new wave sound and psychedelic riffs.
Rock band Sacco’s heavy guitar sound served as a perfect juxtaposition to Cults’ trademark soft tone, gearing the crowd up even more for the feature presentation.
Cults finally arrived on stage, and without any introduction or opening remarks the group began singing “High Road,” the top track off their new album Static.
They immediately absorbed the crowd’s attention even more with “Abducted.” This was obvious from the way the crowd sang along, completely engrossed in the music.
On tour to promote their new album, Cults’ lead singer Madeline Follin and guitarist Brian Oblivion treated the fans to a perfect medley of new and old songs throughout the set list.
Static‘s comparatively somber tone and pessimistic lyrics can be attributed to the recent breakup of the leaders of the group. Yet the end of their four-year relationship did not affect their connection on stage but rather made the songs more heartfelt and genuine.
As Follin sang the lyrics “reach out a hand to me, it’s not over,” from their new song “So Far,” the sense of sorrow and regret was almost tangible in the room for just a moment.
But during songs like “Bumper,” in which there is a dialogue between Follin and Oblivion, the duo sounded completely natural together.
The new album also features a more electronic sound, as heard in “Were Before,” where the light sounds of glockenspiels, deep guitar and repetitive drums replaced acoustic strums.
Despite the incredibly high-pitched voice that Follin maintains in all of the songs on both the new and old albums, the live experience of Cults sounded remarkably similar to the record.
While belting the high-pitched chorus of “You Know What I Mean,” Follin’s voice never broke or hit a sour note.
One surprisingly prominent element of the concert was the light show that accompanied Follin’s stellar vocals.
A simple projection on the back wall behind the stage showing video clips and retro light designs made the concert a very aesthetically pleasing experience.
The video clips and bright lights matched the tone and mood of each song, whether it was chaotic light displays to accompany the drums in “Were Before” or dark blue hues to mirror the sadness in “So Far.”
The concert ended on a high note with the dreamy ambience of “Go Outside,” the song that originally placed Cults on the map.
The only pitfall was that this set fell on the short side at just under an hour, which left fans wanting more. Still, for the time that Cults were on stage – however short – they definitely delivered.
– By Saher Fatteh
Photo courtesy of Saher Fatteh