Cold War Kids at the Marquee Theatre, 9/6/11

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Cold War Kids
Marquee Theatre
Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Quality over quantity. That's what it's all about for Cold War Kids. Attendance at the band's show at the Marquee last night could have been better, but the 600 cheering fans that did show made up for everyone who didn't.

The band aptly replicated the driving drums and strong vocals of their latest record, Mine Is Yours, and they performed it live just like it was escaping from the depths of your stereo.

The crowd was into it. Those Cold War Kids fans made up one of the loudest crowds I've ever heard at the Marquee, and the place wasn't even half full. Everyone seemed to enjoy the show as some sort of tightly bonded Cold War Kids community.

The band got right into it with "Louder Than Ever" and banged out a series of new songs, one right after another. This was also the first crowd I've seen in a long time that was actually positively enthusiastic about a band's new material. The band's clear sound, beautiful harmonies, and energy made it hard to not feel like the new material was already somehow familiar.

The show lost a little momentum after a few songs into their performance but picked back up after the band finished a selection of slower songs. The only downside of the whole gig was that Cold War Kids plateaued a little prematurely. But that's what happens when you play most of your better stuff a bit too early in the show.

Last night, Cold War Kids taught their fans that even though it may look more boring than making a scene on stage, sometimes just playing the music helps a band pull off a much better performance. A cleaner, crisp sound is always a little more memorable than that one lead singer who did a stage dive that one time. Cold War Kids got it right.

The band's live creativity was awesome. Drummer Matt Aveiro played with a drum stick in one hand and a maraca in the other, and even hit his cymbals with his maraca during "Cold Toes on the Cold Floor." Meanwhile, during "We Used to Vacation," guitarist Jonnie Russell beat everything with a maraca that was in front of him; even the strings on his guitar.

The venue was well under capacity, but it doesn't matter: Cold War Kids are a stand out band.

Critic's notebook:

Personal bias: I've never disliked any Cold War Kids song I've ever heard. This was pretty much enough to make me excited to see their show. Not to mention I really enjoy their new album.

The crowd: There were some hippie chicks, but the crowd was mostly made up of a bunch of thick-bearded, head-nodding hipsters.

Random notebook dump: Considering this was one of those shows where everything sounded even better live than it did on the recordings, it's a shame that so many tickets went unsold.

Set list:

Louder Than Ever
Skip the Charades
Cold Toes on the Cold Floor
Golden Gate Jumpers
Every Man I Fall For
Dreams Old Men Dream
I've Seen Enough
Coffee Spoon
Hang Me Up To Dry
Royal Blue
Finally Begin
We Used To Vacation


Mine Is Yours
Hospital Beds
Saint John

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