Cold War Kids 3/20/15

(a) setlist

    1. All This Could Be Yours
    2. Miracle Mile
    3. Loner Phase
    4. We Used to Vacation
    5. Red Wine, Success!
    6. Audience
    7. First
    8. Louder Than Ever
    9. Hot Coals
    10. Hang Me Up to Dry
    11. Harold Bloom
    12. Tuxedos
    13. Drive Desperate
    14. Something Is Not Right With Me
    15. Hospital Beds

Encore:

  1. Bottled Affection
  2. Well Well Well (John Lennon cover)
  3. Hold My Home
  4. Saint John

(b) highlights

  • phenomenal setlist – singles, deep cuts, whatever – these dudes get song placement
  • just the show’s atmosphere, such intimacy and a garage-band jam feel about it
  • really dig the stage production – the lighting guy needs a raise or gold star
  • watching bassist Matt Maust pluck those bass strings is an other-worldly experience
  • “Harold Bloom” is hauntingly good, that John Lennon cover, basically everything

(c) lowlights

  • the crowd was shockingly young; seeing so many under 21’s at a show like this is always off-putting to me
  • Terminal 5’s Terminal 5-ness

(d) overall thoughts

Cold War Kids are one of the few bands that I instantly loved the moment I heard them. Their debut Robbers & Cowards is one of the best albums out there and I’ll always stand by that. I was supposed to first see them open for the White Stripes (!!) back in 2007, but that tour was cancelled because of Meg White-related troubles. That resulted in me having to wait eight years to see these guys, and this show is a long, on-going case in rectifying that.

I always say that seeing Cold War Kids live is like walking in a private garage-band jam session. It feels so stupidly intimate and personal and wonderful. The guys are crawling all over the stage, never standing still and idle, frequently hitting and bumping into one another in a way that makes every performance feel so special and unique. I’ve seen them quite a few times at this point and every show has felt different. This experience in particular was one of warm camaraderie – a brotherly love connection between band and audience.

This was one of the first shows in NYC for their fifth album Hold My Home, which has since given the band well-deserved mainstream praise in the most unexpected way. Their single “First” was actually the first time they had a number one hit, which, as a fan since 2005, makes me incredibly proud and totally baffled. How had it taken everyone so long to realize their greatness? I’ll always remember how wonderful Nathan sounded, how cool Matt looked, and how chillingly special each and every song made us all feel. When you see Cold War Kids, you feel them more than anything. And that’s the best part.

 

Bottom line: Every Cold War Kids show is an emotional experience more than a performance, and being in the audience feels more like a privilege than anything.

 

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