Cut Copy Live [10/12/11]
I think I’ve figured out the ultimate realness test of live bands. Sweat level. If the band isn’t getting a work out, then they aren’t giving you their all. Judging by the drenched clothing among the members of Cut Copy every single night they play, I’d say they do a pretty good job of staying fit. In fact, Dan Whitford (vocals, keys, guitar) could easily host his own work-out program based on dance moves. I’m not even kidding.
Cut Copy has been one of those bands that grew up with me through the phases. When their debut “Bright Like Neon Love” came out in 2004 along with a ton of word of mouth hype, I had to check it out. I think that was my first real taste for merging indie/rock elements into electronic music, which I hardly had an ear for at the time. One thing I disliked about electronic music at that point in my life was the overly-digital vibes. Cut Copy always maintained an organic analogue work-ethic when producing, so I think it made it easier for people like me to get into dance music from them years ago. Anyway, with “In Ghost Colours” in 2008, perhaps their greatest claim to fame so far, I had matured just as much as they had with their sound. Filled with a balance of euphoric chill-outs and a few floor-stomping bangers, Cut Copy made a strong re-assurance that they weren’t a forgotten element of yesteryear’s bloghouse days. Fast forward to 2011 and the band is touring heavily in support of their new record “Zonoscope.” With more of a psyche/pop feel this time around, the album took time to grow upon listeners and obviously portrayed the level of maturity and professionalism that Cut Copy has worked up to over time.
One may have their doubts with the liver performance of an electronically based artist or band. A lot of sounds from the album cannot often be replicated on stage in a live setting, in disappointment to the fans. It was a long time coming that I finally got to see Cut Copy in concert, and the moment finally arrived at Coachella this year. My previous assumption was proven wrong before the band even began to play. Their live show is something special, maybe even magical. I may be a fan, but I am most definitely not biased. A few friends of mine came along who weren’t even into Cut Copy prior to attending, and left saying that was their Coachella highlight. Sure, I could die happy, but not satisfied until I got to see them again at their own show. Fast forward to October; Cut Copy came to the Hollywood Palladium with Washed Out and Midnight Magic.
Finally I could see the guys in a smaller setting at their own show, with some awesome openers to top it off. Arriving early to ensure a spot up front and center, it was a long boring hour waiting for the bands to begin. Washed Out was pretty cool live as usual, but not as powerful as I would have liked after being a fan of the albums for so long. Midnight Magic on the other hand…SO good! I highly recommend seeing Midnight Magic whenever you get a chance. They are bringing back the art of live dance music, and their brass arrangement is extremely badass.
By the time Cut Copy hit the stage, I looked behind me to see a packed sold out house, and the energy was already goosebump-inducing. I knew that this show wouldn’t top Coachella as far as vibes and energy, but still above average levels for sure. Greeted by a loud cheer, the boys were looking sharp as usual and wasted no time as they opened immediately with their 2011 radio hit “Take Me Over.” They seemed tired of playing it just as much as I am tired of hearing it, but as soon as they went right into classic fan fave “Feel The Love,” everyone was in the groove. I really don’t have anything to criticize about their live show. All the antics and high energy constant dancing you can handle along with flawless performance…it’s a real trip. Cut Copy originally started as a DJ side project and it’s great to observe how they have evolved into a full live band with a defined sound. Blasting through more new Zonoscope songs than expected plus their early hit from the neon love era “Saturdays,” this set was more up to date than I would have thought. Teasing the crowd with a few breaks here and there, the crowd at the Palladium showed no signs of fatigue. Like I mentioned before, Cut Copy gets the people moving. Finally ending their set with an encore extended jam performance of “Need You Now,” the lights came on and the show was over. I overheard somebody say that was the closest they have felt to an ecstasy high without even doing drugs. That says it all. Although as a long-time Cut Copy fan, I would have loved to hear more of their classic underground hits, but it was great to hear the new album tracks up close and personal at a cool venue.
The night didn’t end at the concert though, as the Cut Copy crew moved on to ex-Cinespace location for an afterparty DJ set. I rolled over there as it was only a block away and got a feel for their personal taste in records. The DJ set was filled with their trademark remixes and some interesting old school psyche rock tunes. I guess good bands make good DJs, but double duty for the night is talent. To my pleasant surprise, this night drew a lot of non-Hollywood nightlife types and the dancefloor was going off until the early hours of the morning. So as this night was a big realization point for me on the topic of being a longtime Cut Copy listener, it also shined a light on how far these guys have come in their journey of sound. Here to stay and a must-see act, I highly recommend catching them next time around. I don’t speak for just myself when I say they change lives!