Cold War Kids 4/10/17

(a) setlist

    1. Love Is Mystical
    2. Miracle Mile
    3. Can We Hang On?
    4. So Tied Up
    5. First
    6. Love On The Brain (Rihanna cover)
    7. Something Is Not Right With Me

(b) highlights

  • how great is this band, like really
  • the new songs from LA Divine are so solid, I cannot wait to hear the rest of the album, it’s unreal
  • I’m not really a fan of Rihanna, but dayummm, Nathan brought some real soul to that cover and performance of “Love On The Brain”
  • “Can We Hang On?” is honestly one of my favorite Cold War Kids tracks ever and it only just came out a month or do ago; how incredible that a band I’ve loved for over a decade can still create great work
  • the sound in the venue was fantastic; Rough Trade is solid and better than most other Brooklyn venues, in my opinion

(c) lowlights

  • wish the set could’ve been longer

(d) overall thoughts

I’ve talked about this extensively before, but Cold War Kids are probably one of the most underrated bands out there. This show was a free in-store performance at Rough Trade to promote their new album LA Divine, but it mostly worked as a sweet appetizer for a meal later on that you know is gonna be good.

I love going to one of the first shows of any band’s new album and tour, but I feel like it sets the tone for what that album and tour season will look like. The fact that so many of LA Divine‘s songs immediately pulled me in, and the crowd responded so positively to every track – I really feel like this album will be big for the band. And I feel so lucky to have witnessed that first hand, and get to watch it play-out in real time.

Although the show itself was short, the band played as if it was a full-bodied set. They were high-energy and engaged, as usual, playing into how the stage was small, the venue was small, and the crowd was packed tight. The smallness aided in the intimacy in the best way. Nathan Willett brought his soulful lyrics to life and Matt Maust killed it on his funky bass as usual. I was disappointed when the band announced sometime last year that guitarist Dann Gallucci would be leaving only to be replaced by David Quon, but I was pleasantly surprised by his performance. His guitar work on “So Tied Up” was a stand out for sure and I look forward to seeing him at future shows.

Ultimately, the best part about the show was remembering how much joy and happiness Cold War Kids’ music brings to me. The crowd was having a great time – responding positively to new and old songs alike – and everything felt so happy and joyful. I think it speaks volumes to reflect on how I used to hate “Something Is Not Right With Me” when it first came out in 2008 on Loyalty To Loyalty, and how elated and moved I was hearing just this past week. Cold War Kids are the type of band who understand the importance of storytelling and crafting a real sound that resonates with a crowd; seeing them live always reminds me of that.


Bottom line: Cold War Kids are true artists who craft not only meaningful hits with ease, but perform in such a way that you can’t help but feel connect to them. LA Divine is going to be huge for them and I cannot wait to see the success it brings.

We Are Scientists 10/31/15

(a) setlist isn’t acknowledging that this was a real show, which is SO unfortunate because it was Halloween and I was dressed as Han Solo and wore a badass blaster holster – do you think I remember most of the setlist???

(b) highlights

  • despite neither me nor remembering what WAS played that night, I can say for sure that they played a 12-minute rendition of “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult that was only about 3 minutes of actual music and 9 minutes of banter
  • it was Halloween, so everyone was dressed up – Keith, Chris, and drummer Keith all wore lady bug costumes (I know), but each with a little twist; Keith wore a crown, so was a lady bug king, Chris wore a sheriff star, so was a lady bug sheriff, and drummer Keith wore tie-dye and groovy glasses, so was a lady bug hippie – need I say more
  • they brought a dude wearing a business suit and unicorn head on-stage for a song, no really, need I say more
  • I live, literally LIVE for We Are Scientists on-stage banter, give Keith and Chris their own TV show I swear to God
  • the band was projecting a “scary” movie behind them the whole show, which was actually about zombies, sharks, and a topless deep sea diver – no, I’m not kidding, it was incredible

(c) lowlights

  • I think everyone in the entire venue, band included, was totally wasted

(d) overall thoughts

Halloween is always fun. We Are Scientists are always fun. This night was fun squared, trust me. Tickets were $6.66 and Rough Trade in Brooklyn is a fun venue with a built-in record store to boot. Whenever costumes, movie projections, and stopping mid-song about 15 times to instruct a dude dressed as the reaper to be “more scary” and “reap” members of the audience, are involved…you know it was a good show.

Shout out to the dude in the business suit wearing the unicorn mask and the woman by the bar playing the kazoo loud enough to bother Chris all night…you guys are the real heroes for prompting some of the best random stand-up comedy performed by a Brooklyn band I’ve ever seen. To quote Frankie Valli – oh what a night.

Bottom line: I remember more of this night than probably anyone else at the show because I’m pretty sure everyone was drunk, but more so than anything…We Are Scientists are the best.

Note: For some reason, this is the only photo I have of the whole night, which further suggests that this entire event was a bit of a fever dream.