Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Cold War Kids at the Orpheum Theatre

I last caught up with the Cold War Kids at Fingerprints records for the release of their latest album Loyalty to Loyalty. It was a compelling performance that will be released as a limited edition cd of 5,000 on record store day April 18th.

Cold War Kids will be venturing across the states opening for Death Cab for Cutie but put together a few dates to get them back in touring shape. Cold War Kids showed some loyalty by securing Long Beach locals Crystal Antlers to open for them at the sold out Orpheum Theatre.

Crystal Antlers

I honestly don't know why I keep missing Crystal Antlers. The Long Beach based locals seem to be playing every week at various venues across the southland. I did manage to catch Damian Edwards (Drums/Percussion) when he toured with Sun Trash. Crystal Antlers have recently signed with Touch & Go records to release their album Tentacles.

Facing a seated crowd at the Orpheum Theatre, It was a tough going for the Crystal Antlers. Their psychedelic tribal stomp had difficulty crossing the icy expanse of the Orpheum. In the Echo or at the Prospector, their set would have translated better. I need to see them on their own terms. I still applaud Cold War Kids for bringing a local act and supporting Long Beach.

Cold War Kids

I was skeptical about Cold War Kids playing the austere Orpheum theatre but I quickly remembered how they transformed the Wiltern theatre into your living room. In order to establish this intimate setting, the Cold War Kids used very sparse lighting at the beginning of their set for a reworked version of "We Used To Vacation".

The dim lighting continued matched the shadowy mood of "God, Make Up Your Mind" with Nathan Willett (Vocals/Guitars) howling in the darkness. A dramatic shift in intensity ensued when after the first few notes of "I've Seen Enough". The crowd was now on their feet locked in with rhythm of the song. "Dreams Old Men Dream" is one of my favorite tunes from their new cd with its hissing snare drum beat and bluesy reverb soaked guitars.

The underlying tension in "Rubidoux" was palpable as it was difficult not to spot the audience member in the balcony losing his mind dancing along uncontrollably. In another strategic setlist choice, the unhinged vibe of "Something Is Not Right With Me" still kept the audience moving and kept everyone out of their seats. "Mexican Dogs" had Matt Maust (Bass) colliding into various band members with a caged animal intensity.

A tempo shift occurred during the encore with the Cold War Kids dipping into their back catalog for "Sermons Vs. The Gospel" and "Heavy Boots". "Saint John" still remains a vital punctuation mark to cap their set. I think I will be heading down to San Diego on 4/29 to catch them with Death Cab for Cutie. It should also be noted that the Cold War Kids will be on Jimmy Fallon's show on April 4th performing "I've Seen Enough".

Cold War Kids setlist at the Orpheum Theatre (3/27/09)
"We Used To Vacation"
"On The Night My Love Broke Through"
"God, Make Up Your Mind"
"Avalanche In B"
"I've Seen Enough"
"Dreams Old Men Dream"
"Something Is Not Right With Me"
"Every Man I Fall For"
"Coffee Spoon"
"Mexican Dogs"
"Hang Me Up To Dry"
"Audience Of One"
"Hospital Beds"
"Sermons Vs. The Gospel"
"Heavy Boots"
"Against Privacy"
"Saint John"

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Great photos! It was an awesome show! :-)