Sylvan Esso at the Commodore Ballroom

At their sold out show Aug 15 2017. Kirk Chantraine photos.

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Cults at Venue

Cults at Venue Vancouver

Cults at Venue, Vancouver, July 21 2011. Tamara Lee photo

Review and photos – Cults at Venue, Vancouver, July 21 2011

– review by Ria Nevada/photos by Tamara Lee

Last October, shy duo Cults opened for fellow throwback acts Twin Sister and the Morning Benders at Venue in Vancouver. Less than one year later they returned to the same stage, this time headlining their very own North American tour in support of their self-titled debut.

A testament to Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin‘s quirky, nostalgic and pop-influenced songwriting style, the album was performed by the Cults co-founders and accompanying musicians in its entirety. A mix of mods, preps and hipsters packed the room – apparently, this was the group’s largest audience to date (see our interview with Oblivion and Follin here) but everyone still had enough space to twist and shimmy to upbeat tracks like “Most Wanted”, “Never Saw the Point”, and their sleeper hit “Go Outside”.

Cults perform at Venue

Madeline Follin with Cults at Venue, Vancouver, July 21 2011. Tamara Lee photo

Looking as cute as a button, Follin bounced her shoulders and did a little two-step to each song. Oblivion had a more aggressive presence as he shook his long tresses and banged on his guitar. The additional touring band members stood idly in the background, but definitely added depth to their live sound.

With Cults’ limited repertoire, a short set was inevitable, and even with an encore they were on stage for roughly 50 minutes. For the most part, it was a fun, light-hearted show. But considering the packed house, the energy was quite calm and the audience in the pit-area looked rather bored and thinned out halfway into their set.

The constant feedback from the monitors, the barrage of distortion and the sometimes screeching vocals paled in comparison to the airy and clean sound of their recordings. In addition, Oblivion’s cheap joke about the Vancouver hockey riot where he asked, “Did anyone light a car on fire recently?” didn’t sit well with the crowd.

But these slip-ups are completely excusable for a band that just got off the ground a mere year ago. A few more cross-country tours should get them comfortable on any stage in no time.

More Cults at Venue Vancouver photos:

Cults interview – Ria Nevada chats with Brian and Madelline

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