First of all, it was the Cold War Kids so obviously it was an amazing concert. Second of all, they did the three things that make a concert great for me: I got to belt out the songs I knew, fall in love with the songs I didn’t, and watch everyone on stage make weird facial expressions. Nathan Willett, lead vocalist who looks suspiciously like Quentin Tarantino, distracted me from EVERYTHING with his “Oh no you didn’t” neck twerks and “Girl please” hand gestures while the rest of the band flounced around the stage with their endearingly nerdy dance moves.
But more about the music, man. Baths opened up for Cold War Kids and brought a high level of energy to get the crowd excited, and then that was over, so we waited, and waited, and knocked into each other, and stood, because it’s the 9:30 club so that’s what you do there for half an hour before the band comes on. And it’s really not ever like anyone is fixing things up on stage or anything, so you basically know the band is just drinking backstage so nobody has to regret their dance moves in the morning.
And then there was the Cold War Kids, opening up with “Royal Blue” off their new album, Mine is Yours (2011). That song is one of my favorites because it could be a Tracy Chapman cover song and nobody would be able to tell the difference. And that is a great thing. They churned out a few more hits before a long string of “new” and “little-known” tracks. Usually that part of a concert drones on for me, but each of these songs was so catchy that I felt engaged the whole time. Part of that is because Cold War Kids songs are so short, so the concert had a pretty quick pace. Like the gracious band they are, they threw in some of their older favorites like, of course, “Hang Me Up to Dry” and another crowd-pleaser, “Hospital Beds.” The sound came together amazingly on stage, and all of the strange animal noises that Willett makes on the album actually translated perfectly live. His strong vocals were consistent throughout the show.
You always want to be able to call a concert an experience, and this one definitely was. With their bright, strobe-y lights, their images of ships, horses falling, hospitals, and close-ups of a Kim Kardashian look-alike (naturally), the Cold War Kids took us on a fast-paced journey through their old rock sound and everyone was happy, and people were probably hugging each other during the encore, and then we all went home and fell asleep with a cheery ringing in our ears and dreamt about Willett casting us in Kill Bill 3.
– Tandice Ossareh