Cut Copy (w/ Holy Ghost!) @ The Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA (3/31/11)
April 01, 2011

Nobody Lost, Nobody Found
Where I’m Going
Feel the Love
Corner of the Sky
Lights and Music
Take Me Over
Pharaohs & Pyramids
Voices in Quartz
Hearts on Fire
Sun God
Need You Now
Out There on the Ice

As anyone who’s been following my Twitter account is well aware, I’ve been excited as hell for the last two months for last night’s Cut Copy show. The band’s own Zonoscope is in competition with Holy Ghost!’s self-titled debut for my favorite album of 2011 so far, so the opportunity to see both in one show (especially given how upbeat and dance-centric their music is) wasn’t something I was going to miss out on.

As far as opening acts go, Holy Ghost! was excellent. They played a very slick, tightly-constructed set (as their brand of dance-punk electronica requires), and they hit up some obvious highlights from their album. Taking the stage with “Wait and See” into “Hold On” was a real treat, as was finishing off with “Jam for Jerry” (one of my favorite songs of the year and the most immediately likeable track on their album). Even their lead single “Do It Again,” which I was never a huge fan of on record, was thumping and awesome live.

My only complaints about Holy Ghost! are the same I usually have with bands who are too good to be opening acts. These guys deserved a more extravagant light setup, for one, and while they were all energetic, you could tell they weren’t entirely conformable playing in front of an audience who wasn’t here to see them (which comes with being a supporting act, but nevertheless). A good portion of the crowd hadn’t even shown up yet when they started playing, but everyone in my vicinity was having a great time.

The stage looked a bit cluttered for Holy Ghost!, but Cut Copy’s set looked clean and efficient, consisting of a ridiculously well-synchronized light setup and a single household door in the middle of the stage, from which the band emerged to the tune of their “Visions” intro tape. Hearing that track was especially exciting because anyone who was familiar with In Ghost Colours knew that they were about to jump into “Nobody Lost, Nobody Found,” the album’s closing song and pleasantly surprising choice for their opening song.

In fact – and I cannot overstate this – their setlist was perfect. My wish was that the show would consist of a slew of new songs from Zonoscope, a bunch of favorites from Colours, and the barest minimum of inclusions from Bright Like Neon Love (an album I find incredibly weak compared to their other two). The song selection was perfect – there wasn’t a weak spot anywhere in this show – and the crowd was the best I’ve ever seen. We were dancing to literally every single song.

The first major highlight of the set was arguably their best song, “Lights and Music.” It came about a third of the way through the show, giving us just enough time to get warmed up. Couple that with the song’s momentous buildup-and-release during the first half and it was an incredible performance. Just before the first chorus, guitarist Tim Hoey slowly raised his arms up, as did the audience, and as soon as Whitford belted out “LIGHTS AND MUSIC!” we all threw ourselves into the air at once. Whitford and Hoey definitely need to be credited for being such comfortable showmen and commanding such energy from the crowd throughout (not that these people needed encouragement; some were dancing their asses off to the DJ sets in between acts). You could tell they were having almost as much fun as we were.

The other high point, obviously, was “Hearts on Fire.” I flailed my head so hard on the second chorus that I literally had to reach up and keep my glasses from flying off. A big surprise for me was the early inclusion of “Feel the Love.” Cut Copy have pretty much been playing the same setlist every night, but they’ve recently started swapping out “So Haunted” for “Feel the Love,” and it was a trade-off I’m happy they made. I went nuts when I heard the intro.

On “Pharaohs & Pyramids”, the door on the stage flipped around to reveal a screen that displayed some appropriately psychedelic imagery during some of Zonoscope’s trippier stuff, particularly the latter ten minutes of “Sun God.”

Even “Saturdays,” the lone track from Neon Love, was a raucous live song, particularly during the finale when Whitford commanded us to start jumping up and down on his countdown. Surprisingly, they closed the night with “Out There on the Ice,” one of Colours’ most underrated tracks. It was fun to see that song performed live, but I’m glad they didn’t save one of their genuine showstoppers for the end, because I was a little worn out by that point. (I still haven’t been to enough non-stop-rave shows like this to be totally used to it.)

So yeah, I had an amazing time. Whether or not Cut Copy put on the best show I’ve ever been to is a matter of perspective. Obviously, their set couldn’t compare with the spectacle of bands like Muse and the Flaming Lips, and I wasn’t blown away by the sheer power of their songs like I was when I saw Arcade Fire. But this was, bar none, the most fun I’ve ever had at a concert, so take that for what you will. Of course, I’m seeing LCD Soundsystem at Madison Square Garden tomorrow, and I fully expect that show to steamroll everything else I’ve seen in every possible regard, so we’ll see.

All of the pictures I took at the show are here. And have a look at this video I took of Holy Ghost! playing "I Will Come Back."

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Suskie Suskie - April 01, 2011 (09:02 PM)
Forgot I can't delete threads. Yay. I could have sworn I unchecked that stupid box.

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