Cults at Fitzgerald's, 11/5/2013
In the generation of music we're listening to these days, whatever it may be called, it takes just that one single to put you into the national spotlight. Once upon a time there used to be major steps you had to take to even make it to the radio, but with the Internet's ever-expanding grasp and satellite radio in everyone's cars these days, it's much easier to get your tunes out there to the mass public.
Cults have taken full advantage of this formula and, even with their limited amount of material, have made it to the big time. Their song "Go Outside" can be heard all over the place: on TV commercials, out to eat at your local restaurant, at the hip local bar, in your mom's minivan, at your hairdresser. With their recent rise in popularity, they've used what that song has given them and turned it into a solid touring career.
The Manhattan-based act are much more than just "Go Outside," and with their growing status in the indie world, they're given an opportunity to shine on a much larger scale -- allowing more and more fans to take in their music they'd otherwise not know. They recently performed for a massive crowd at New Orleans' Voodoo Festival, and you could tell many went home a satisfied customer at the end of their set.
Tuesday was a bit different than their daytime Voodoo performance. They brought their stage show to an upstairs Fitzgerald's room that turned out to be pretty full for a Tuesday evening in Houston. With it, Cults brought a pretty lighting system that enhanced their show to a whole different level -- sometimes low-lit and blue, others with bright yellows and reds shining throughout the crowd, all while a projector shone over the band with different geometric patterns gyrating across their faces.
Although the performance was brief, clocking in at just under an hour, they brought everything they could musically and vocally. Cults' eponymous debut record was on full display during the performance, highlighted by spirited takes on "You Know What I Mean," "Abducted" and "Oh My God," but it was their recently released Static that was the main focus. I'm yet to be introduced to that record fully, only having a chance to browse through it a few times, but it was what was represented live from the new album that was most intriguing from their set.
Cults have definitely grown in their sound in their three short years as a band, shifting from spacey melodic pop to more of a dance-based sound. The front-duo of Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin have added much more vocal interplay to the mix, giving them both an opportunity to show off their talents to the adoring audience. It was Follin, however, who was the true star of the evening. Her effortless vocal approach to each and every song is what draws you in, but it's when she takes it an octave higher that she really stands out.
Review continues on the next page.