Saturday, March 15, 2008
Cut Copy at the Echo
Who would be courageous enough to open for Daft Punk on their tour of Australia? The answer would be Cut Copy along with their label mates in crime The Presets. Since Daft Punk are from another planet, Cut Copy and The Presets are two of the top live electronica acts on Earth.
Walter Meego kicked off the dance party with the vocoder heavy intro to "Girls" from their upcoming release "Voyager". It was a mixture of Phoenix, and Elefant swirled with a heavy dose of synthesizers. The core duo of Walter Meego is Justin Sconza (Vocals/Keyboards/Guitar) and Colin Yarck (Keyboards) with the help of Andrew Bernhardt on guitars. Justin was switching between his Korg MS-20 and a Fender Stratocaster as he played their infectious dance pop. "Forever" is the song that slightly reminded me of Phoenix before it kicks into overdrive with fat synthesizer bass and stabs of electric guitars. "Keyhole" was an intense display of guitar and synthesizer wizardry mashed together like chocolate and peanut butter. "Lost" is their ace in the hole with its massive synthesizer hooks and stuttering electronic drum beats that is a direct homage to Daft Punk. "Breaking Your Heart" was another dose of sugar coated synthesizers with a funky breakdown in the middle of the song that really lets the crowd cut loose. I enjoyed their programming skills and the incorporation of guitars into their music. Walter Meego will actually be back to open for the Presets on May 20th at the El Rey and I recommend you get there early to check them out.
The line of people trying to get into the Cut Copy show was apparently a mile deep as it winded over the bridge. I always recommend people buy presale tickets for shows at The Echo if they think it will sell out. A lot of disappointed fans learned the harsh reality of this fact the hard way when they were turned away at the door. Cut Copy could have easily sold out the Echoplex.
I have attended a lot of shows at the Echo and I can safely say that Cut Copy blew the roof off the Echo. The Echo was as hot as a sauna as the sweat was dripping from the ceiling as Cut Copy played a set that will be talked about for sometime. "So Haunted" set the Echo on fire early with its driving guitars and synthesizer lines pouring down like gasoline on the fire as Dan Whitford (Guitars/Synths/Vocals) led the charge along with Tim Hoey (Guitars/Bass) and Mitchell Scott (Drums). I wasn't surprised to see a Sonic Youth sticker on Tim's slick Fender Jazzmaster after he mentioned in his interview that Cut Copy wouldn't exist without Sonic Youth. "So Haunted" is the lead single from their impending Modular records release "In Ghost Colours".
Dan introduced "Time Stands Still" as a song from their first album "Bright Like Neon Love" that no one probably has. He was wrong as the whole crowd emphatically clapped and sang along to the tune and danced away to the slinky bass line. The temperature in the Echo was rising fast with no signs of slowing down. "Going Nowhere" was next as the crowd could not stop moving and the push to the front of the stage started commence. Tim was slashing his way through the mini guitar solo as Dan would sing the refrain of "Going Nowhere". "That Was Just A Dream" was another homage to Daft Punk replete with hand claps and sultry bass grooves that had a countdown in the middle of the song to make the crowd go even crazier.
"Lights and Music" had the mercury in the Echo thermometer explode as Cut Copy had the whole crowd in the palm of their hand. The song had a heavier dose of Tim's guitars that infused even more life to the track. I give higher ratings to electronica acts that are not afraid to break out the guitars and drums to enhance the live element of their songs."Future" had Tim add some winding delay guitars backed by the steady beat of Mitchell. A series of guitar feedback noises soon gave way to the hypnotic New Order "Republic" era influenced "Hearts on Fire" that incited another crowd clap along. I can't remember the last time I heard saxophone synthesizer samples that actually worked in the context of a song without sounding cheesy. The encore consisted of "Far Away" from their new album that also had some New Order streaks of influence coursing through the song. I was not surprised that "Saturdays" closed out their set as the entire crowd was singing along and Dan instructed the audience to jump along as he abused the the modulation wheel on his Dave Smith keyboard for an emphatic close out to their electrifying set. I will go on record to say that Cut Copy will have one of the breakout performances of Coachella if they can reconstitute the same energy they had at the Echo and amplify it the masses.