I love a band that sucks up to the audience.
Hey, it’s hot out here. We’re all sticky - and not in a fun way. I’ve been propositioned by a Na’vi, flashed by a guy in a Utilikilt, and had a small army on docked boats spray me with waterguns. Actually, that last part was pretty nice.
However, you have to love a band that keeps telling the audience, "Listen to you! All your beautiful voices. Getting louder, beautiful voices, getting louder - yes!"
Cake kicked off their first song by encouraging the crowd to shout "Dude." I choose to believe this was an homage to the upcoming Lebowski Fest and not just the quantity of pot at the Festival. From there, they segued into a simple singalong pitting the men against the women.
One of the best things about Cake live is how much they taunt the audience. They'll talk back to the crowd, give instructions, and use vocabulary above a 4th grade reading level. Heck, after they introduced us to basic vowels in the first singalong, they split the crowd in two and made us do a round. I remember I want to fly away. Across the crowd, they’re so sick of you, so sick of me, they didn't want to be with me. Sniff. I guess I won't get s 2nd date with that half the audience, no matter what we shared.
"Which is more powerful? Anger or escapism, in America today?" asked the lead singer. Apparently, the answer was competition, because each side of the audience was determined to outsing the other.
Cake usually gives away a live tree at every concert. Instead, this time they commanded us to consume all the music we could in lieu of killing a tree on our drive home. "Don’t go wandering into the environmentalism section. Stay with the music," said John McCrea.
McCrea teased the audience between every song. "We already snuck in a song from the new album, but you were too wasted to notice because of your partying lifestyle."
The first half of the set was a mix of unfamiliar songs and ones that weren’t my favorites, but who cares? They sound fantastic live & I have mp3’s on my phone for the rest. Shh...if you spot me with headphones in later while wandering the festival it’s because I couldn't get enough fix.
That’s a little greedy of me, though, since the second half of their set was nonstop crowd pleasers; Sheep Go To Heaven, Goats Go to Hell, Short Skirt Long Jacket, and Going the Distance.
I have to say the speaker quality here at Forecastle has quite seriously blown me away with every band. I’m used to a scratchy sound with grainy vocals and a hint of tortured amps. Instead, this really did sound like they’d cranked a CD up on some Bose speakers. Whatever Forecastle is doing to make such great outdoor sound quality, please keep it up.
Photo credit Chris-Rachael Oseland.