Cake at the Marquee Theatre, 12/10/11

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cake can be great for a lot of things, including eating, smashing, and celebrating. Thanks to John McCrea and the gang, last night's Cake show left an equally sweet taste in my mouth.

An absolutely packed house at the Marquee was treated to two sets of sarcasm and exceptionally enjoyable goofy, straight-faced lyrics.

As front man McCrea said, "If you tried to skip the opening and band and failed," you were still treated to some extra Cake lovin'. To the delight of the fans, John rocked the hell out of his vibraslap all night long. Everyone really got into the show as one big group, and the whole room sang along together all night. Viva la Cake community!

The band preformed the requisite hits like "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" and "Never There," and played most of the group's excellent Showroom of Compassion. Every single song was a crowd-pleaser to the point where Cake could have sold recordings of their farts at the merch booth, and people would have bought them. Hey, I can't blame them.

The band made sure to do their usual tree giveaway schtick as well, in which someone from the audience who correctly guesses the type of tree they have on stage gets to take it home, so long as they promise to take care of it for 20 or 30 years and send pictures of it every now and then.

The crowd was unevenly split in two for a Ben Folds "Army" style singalong during "Sick of You" and "Short Skirt Long Jacket" that brought out the playfully competitive spirit in everyone. During the encore, everyone sounded as excited to hear "Going the Distance" as the world's cutest Cake fan. It's safe to say I was tempted to do my Vince DiFiore mouth trumpet impressions the entire time.

If someone hadn't listened to the group very much lately, last night's show definitely made him or her remember why Cake is so lovable. Their show was simple, but it packed a punch in terms of spirit, animation, energy and reciprocated love between the fans and the band, which is exactly what made for an intimate evening with Cake.

Critic's notebook:

Last night: Cake at the Marquee Theatre.

Personal bias: My hippie aunt and uncle got me into Cake about four years ago, so I've been a fan for a little while now.

The crowd: Cake has an admirably diverse fan base. The crowd ranged in age from about 21 to 40. I saw goths, computer gamers, pot heads, and a lot of average joes.

Overheard: "This audience is actually full of women. I thought it would be all lumberjacks."

Random notebook dump: Kudos to Vince DiFiore for pulling a lot of weight throughout the show. In addition to fulfilling his trumpet-playing duties, he also held it down on a variety of other instruments. The guy is a backup beast. Also, anyone who gave someone tickets to this show as an early holiday gift probably got laid last night, since they gave what was pretty much the best gift ever.

Set list:
Sad Songs and Waltzes
Opera Singer
Long Time
Mustache Man
Shadow Stabbing
Frank Sinatra
Love You Madly
Sick of You
Italian Leather Sofa
Federal Funding
Rock N' Roll Lifestyle
Bound Away
Never There

Short Skirt Long Jacket
War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover)
Going the Distance

Follow us on Twitter and friend us on Facebook

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lenni Rosenblum