Support Local Journalism. Donate to Cleveland Scene.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Cult not quite 'electric' at House of Blues

Posted By on Sat, Aug 10, 2013 at 9:10 AM


We’ve had enough of bands playing albums in their entirety. Earlier this week, prog rockers Yes played not one, not two, but three albums in their entirety at Cain Park. And last night at House of Blues, Brit alt-rockers the Cult opened their two-hour set by playing their 1987 album Electric in its entirety. Admittedly, it’s the band’s breakthrough album and the one that signified a musical shift from straight-up Goth rock to a compelling blues-metal hybrid. But every song on the album isn’t a winner. While “Wildflower” and “Love Removal Machine” are fist-raising anthems and came off great live, other tracks are forgettable and didn't work so well live. So playing the whole album wasn’t the smartest move.

It didn’t help that singer Ian Astbury had trouble properly delivering the vocals. Astbury is a powerhouse singer whose voice so closely resembles that of Jim Morrison that the remaining members of the Doors once recruited him to fiil in for the deceased frontman. But last night, he sounded flat for most of set. Songs such as “Lil’ Devil” and “Bad Fun” didn’t have the swagger they really needed. Mid-way through the set, Astbury, who would was clad in black from head to toe and wore sunglasses for the entire show, admitted he was just getting warmed up. And he certainly started to sound better after the band took a brief break at the conclusion of Electric and returned to play the soaring “Rain.” But he couldn’t hit the right notes on “Sweet Soul Sister” and sounded best when the song only required that he stay in the lower registers. As a result, tunes like the moody, Nick Cave-like “Embers” were really quite powerful. But that was the exception rather than the norm. It’s too bad Astbury wasn’t more up to the task. The band sounded sharp and the hard-drinking capacity crowd came ready to rock. The guys just didn't give audience members a good reason to let loose.

The psychedelic rock trio White Hills opened with a sloppy set of tunes that were completely unmemorable. Band members were more obsessed with striking a pose — singer-guitarist Dave W. regularly whipped his hair around like he was kind of supermodel posing for a fashion shoot — than playing their respective instruments.

Tags: ,

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Scene Magazine has been keeping Cleveland informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources, especially as we all deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost everything Scene is about -- our stories, our events, our advertisers -- comes down to getting together. With events on hold, and no print distribution for the foreseeable future, every little bit helps.

A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Scene. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation