Cut Copy @ Club Nokia March 11th
An ever-increasing workload, the recession’s effect on one’s monthly Amoeba habit, a rapidly approaching membership into the “mid-thirties” club - a million and one reasons to stop seeing live music as frequently as my liver could once withstand. But last year’s SXSW/Coachella springtime juggernaut left its indelible mark and a few bands moved to the top of the “must see again and again” list, Cut Copy’s electropop/dance rock eking out the top spot. Who doesn’t love a band you can jump around to? It’s like everything good about the 90s rave scene (without the glow sticks and wide-legged pants, natch) served up with a side of early 80s nu-wave synth.
On tour promoting 2008’s infectious (did we mention danceable?) In Ghost Colours, Cut Copy and opener’s Matt and Kim spent a few nights killing us loudly. Wednesday’s show was relocated from the oversold and interrupted (thanks to an irate Fire Marshal) Henry Fonda to Downtown’s new-ish Club Nokia on a moment’s notice, a move that could have been disastrous and ended up the first in a series of “cup half full” moments over the course of the night.
Despite the fact that you have to brave the general vicinity of the overwhelming Staples Center, Club Nokia’s 58,000 square feet belies its downright homey feel, and a packed house of about 2,300 concert goers walks that fine line between cozy and claustrophobic. In the case of the electric headliner, the small-medium sized venue was an easy choice for fans to positively feed off one another’s energy.
Doors opened promptly at 8 pm and by 8:15 pm the under 21 set could be found vying for the coveted next-to-the-stage positions, rocking out to the sounds of LA’s favorite lady DJ, Daisy O. Granted, an all-ages vibe can lead to a plethora of eye rolling from both extremes of the demographic, but luckily there was enough American Apparel to go around without anyone feeling
embarrassed superior to anyone else. Crisis no. 2 averted!
After checking out the swanky VIP lounge upstairs (the only complaint of the night: Hey Nokia, can you at least show the band on those flatscreens?), we hightailed it back to the pit to catch the onset of Matt and Kim. If you haven’t yet boarded the M&K train, pick up a copy of 2006’s self-titled debut (and proceed directly to the perfect “Yea Yeah”) before indulging in Grand, their sophomore effort. This Brooklyn-based punk rock two-top, consisting of singer/keys/boyfriend Matt Johnson and drummer/girlfriend Kim Schifino, bring a frenetic happyfuntime that reminded the house why they’ve been blowing the roof off NYC basement parties for some time now. Proof that watching someone smile can make you do the same, M&K’s enthusiasm is way legit - they just LOVE each other and what they do, and it’s hard not to love them for doing it.
By the time Cut Copy took the stage, the floor and balcony were packed and eager for the band to continue the party. Back lit by a wall of neon lights, front man Dan Whitford and bandmates got off to a slow start with a slightly sleepy "Hearts On Fire". Thankfully, the crowd was undeterred - if you start low you’ve only one direction to go. The reciprocal crowd-band-crowd ebullience exchange began with the first sounds of "Nobody Lost, Nobody Found" and by mid-song it was a perfect storm, as young and old, hipster and frat boy, girl and boy alike cheered each other on, the air wet and magnetic. The band said it best, “There's something in the air tonight/A feeling that you have that could change your life/There's something burning up inside/I reach out for you and our hearts collide”.