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West Hollywood. Saturday night. Doug Weston’s Troubadour has been home to everyone who is anyone in the music industry. If those walls could talk, we’d all be listening. The sign outside read “An evening with Cake” which sounds intimate and classy, which are not the first words that come to mind in the world of Rock n Roll. This 2nd sold out evening of 4, held a special vibe, one not often found in the music world, and not from a band with such a huge following and a #1 Billboard charts album. Cake could have easily played sold out shows at Staples Center or the Forum. Instead, they gave their fans a chance to be a part of something; a chance to be close to the band, and to really feel a part of the musical experience.
Lead singer John McCrea, sick with a cold and ‘pretty high on cough syrup’, lead an amazing show and his vocals were right on the money. The band was fine tuned and sounded incredible in the packed house. Cell phones were a big ‘no, no’ and McCrea almost snatched one from an audience member trying to video their set. This may have annoyed audience members, but they obeyed and respected the singers wishes. It was an amazing feat to see the audience actually present in the room, enjoying every moment laid out before them, instead of creating distraction and a wall between them and their experience via their video capturing cells. Kudos to McCrea for bringing people back down into reality.
The crowd was eclectic and the songs are typical of the eccentric and simplistic Cake sound. The guys had no set list as McCrea pointed out “it lets us go deep”. The audience chimed in suggestions to which he kindly pointed out that they weren’t taking them. He made it clear, he is master of the ship.
Playing classics like ‘Rock n Roll lifestyle’, ‘Short Skirt, Long Jacket’, ‘Never There’, and ‘Going the Distance’ made the night float along sweetly like having a rendezvous with an old lover while newer songs like ‘Sick of you‘ and ‘Federal Funding’ freshened everything up.
McCrea has great directing abilities as he rallied the room to sing along to ‘Sick of You‘. One side of the room was deemed the ‘escapist side, the ones who turn to vampires, play video games and smoke marijuana’ while the other side was the ‘angry ones that have a great time freaking out with anger and say it’s all your fault’. The crowd really embraced their role playing, which in all truth probably isn’t so far away from whom they are when they walk out the room. We are all human after all and I certainly have been on both sides of the room.
So after two sets, the guys brought it back up to a feverish ending. They doled out a rallying encore cover version of ‘War Pigs’ which they really owned, creating a funky metal interpretation Ozzy certainly would’ve dug. It was an unusual choice that really worked.
So all and all Cake really embraced their fans and gave them an intense show. Considering the level of fame these cats are at, they kept the performance very down to earth and personal. They even kept it green by giving 2 fans a tree to take home and plant. These guys have a message and it is wrapped within lyrics, melodies, and party music. If you really listen closely, you will hear that we all must take responsibility for our lives, choices, government, environment and the world in which we live in.
Cake continues touring in Europe and the United States…check website for dates.
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