Before Cold War Kids could lay out their deep-gut indie blues-rock on the huge Terminal 5 stage last night, openers PAPA beat the big hall opening band blues by garnering and increasing the crowd’s attention as their fun set moved on. The lead singer was definitely impressive, as he was also manning the drums yet still maintained a great on-stage persona. He continuously engaged with the audience, stood up on his drum set at one point, and ultimately jumped off stage at the end of the last song, shaking hands with the crowd. His gregariousness definitely levied the band’s overall set, as the tunes themselves were heavy in rhythm, the drums thunderous at certain points, with synths that were conversely relaxed, calculated and mostly mellow. So if the drums bombarded the synths, they did it in a positive manner, while seasoned with light licks from the guitarist and a steady pace from the bass. A happy chaos, if you will.
Cold War Kids came on next to a packed crowd. They opened with a song from 2008′s Loyalty To Loyalty that complimented the stage backdrop which featured said album’s artwork. Lead singer, Nathan Willet, jumped into their newer material next with the speedy, piano-heavy Miracle Mile,. The newer stuff they pulled out featured synths, something they haven’t really emphasized before, but worked within their sound. And that sound, an emotional, physical bent-roots blues, rolled out fine the rest of their fully frantic set.
Words and photos by Ryan Loewy.