First of all, holy shit the Kills are hot live! Damn. Read Erin Thompson's review here . (I haven't kept up with the band's releases


And a Few Words About Cold Cave's Sort of Anemic Opening Set for the Kills Last Night...

First of all, holy shit the Kills are hot live! Damn. Read Erin Thompson's review here. (I haven't kept up with the band's releases as well as I should, and I'm not sure how much of that ridiculous heat translates from the stage to the stereo, but I intend to make up for some lost time with them and find out.)

Now, then, Cold Cave. I don't know if it was where I was standing or some trick of the sound system or that the Kills conspire to keep the opening bands dialed down, but Cold Cave just didn't sound as loud and bracing as last time I saw them, at Neumos last year. When they tore into a drilling, white-washing noise interlude before their final song, you saw some people walking around with their fingers stuck in their ears, but you could hear just as many hooting, "woo!" That bit should've flattened us all...

Possibly contributing to the relative anemia was that Cold Cave were down one member, to a trio, with singer/keyboardist Jennifer Clavin (ex-Mika Miko) notably absent. So, when the band played the excellent "Youth and Lust" of Love Comes Close, singer Wesley Eisold just kind of mumbled the girl's parts (which were originally sung on that one by Xiu Xiu's Caralee McElroy, anyway), repeating phrases and muttering, trailing off, before ending the song with the odd refrain, "This is not music/this is not music/this is not music/I don't care about music."

But even down a member and not as loud as they should've been, Cold Cave put on a good, if too brief show. Eisold wagged his head and hung from the mic by his hand, swaying, with his bad arm tucked in his jacket sleeve or held behind his back, even pogoing on some songs. Dominick Fenrow just straight up danced and rocked out, just whipping his buzzcut hair back and forth at first, but soon breaking out into an arm-swinging, high-kneeing sort of marching dance. This when they weren't looming over their keyboards, of course. And the drummer hit his kit with appropriate industrial strength. They played "The Laurels of Erotomania," Eisold's voice moanier than on record. They played the outstanding "Confetti," with tinny, canned backing vox and without the false ending and restart. They played "Underworld USA," the vocals a bit low in the mix, occasionally pierced by spikes of feedback. They played one I didn't recognize (and which I've posted above), the sort of Euro-trashy "Theme From Tomorrowland," its female vocals emanating out of nowhere. They ended with the dour, iron lung pumping of "Burning Sage," cut off by some grimy metal on the house sound system before the last note had even rung all the way out.

Set list:

1. "The Laurels of Erotomania"

2. "Icons of Summer"

3. "Underworld USA"

4. "Theme From Tomorrowland"

5. "Confetti"

6. "Youth and Lust"

7. "Burning Sage"

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