November 6, 2011

Cold War Kids @the Phoenix on November 4th

Since the release of their third album, 'Mine is Yours' earlier in the year, Long Beach based indie rock band, Cold War Kids, have been non-stop touring across the continents. The quartet returned to Toronto for the second time in the year at the Phoenix on November 4th. 

I settled myself on the second floor on the balcony with my friends to obtain a better view as the venue was already packed due to a late arrival. As I was able to enjoy the sound system and look at the whole venue, including the audience on the floor, it gave me a very different prospective as if I was a third party, not being a part of the audience. It almost made me feel like I was watching a live show DVD or YouTube video. 
(I had once sat at the same spot for the Black Lips' gig as I was scared of the moshpit, but it was the  very first time to observe a show with a mellow atmosphere.)

Cold War Kids slowly warmed up the crowed and took them a little while to set them ablaze. It was when they performed their third song, 'Hang Me Up to Dry', that the audience went nuts and the entire venue sang along with the alluring tune. Since then, they mesmerized the crowed by mellifluous verses created with throbbing drums and bass and a gruff and emotional vocals of Nathan Willett, while banging on the piano. It was a great mix of their three albums, including their hit tracks, 'Hospital Bed', 'Saint John,' 'Something is Not right with me," and 'Louder Than Ever' to name a few. The crowed recognized each song right away by just hearing the intro of a song and grooved along with the captivating tunes.

There were moments, including two or three songs in row that the momentum of the permanence instantly descended. The force of the audience sporadically fluctuated and I couldn't help thinking what a band needs to keep the audience attentive for one and half hours for the full set. Don't get me wrong by what I say here. I don't mean that they are boring to witness. Cold War Kids are one of the best performers that I've seen this year and definitely have great tunes that instantly keep the audience gallant. It was just very interesting to sense the huge gap of the reactions of the audience  between songs throughout the gig. 

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