Roseland Theater, Portland , OR on November 1, 2013
Many Portlanders lived out their fantasy in Halloween costumes the previous weekend, but several attendees at the Cut Copy show on All Saint’s Day saw it as the perfect occasion to paint their faces and throw on workplace-inappropriate attires.
For over a decade, Dan Whitford and Co. have been setting people’s feet on fire with their hypnotic electro-pop. Ahead of their fourth studio LP, Free Your Mind (out Nov 5 via Modular), the Aussies landed in North America to kick off their transcontinental tour. The show started off comparatively mellow with the title track from their latest and perhaps the most bustling album. The sugar-high post-Halloween Friday night crowd knew they were guaranteed for the best dance party in town, but the electricity didn’t fully surge until the third song, “Feel The Love”, from In Ghost Colours brought nostalgia and familiarity. From then on, it was a an unstoppable crescendo to a supernova finale with “Lights And Music”.
The stage design solely relied on the lights, heavy on the strobes, which the attendees were well-warned. Gone was the extraneous details like the doorway prop or matching oxford shirts. The four musicians wore simple casual attires that was furthest from stage-centric as performers could get. Whitford’s once hair-catalogue-sharp cut was now of long, flowing locks blowing in the wind; the captain of tonight’s festivity urged us to elevate to free our mind with his long arms reaching for the sky. While the most acrobatic member, guitarist Tim Hoey, jumped up on the drum kit, glided his Fender across the walls, and approached the crowd with a mic, his Sonic Youth-eulogizing guitar style was less prevalent affair this time around. It’s as if the Melbourne-based group has reached a state of dancetronic nirvana, where they have transcended the physical realm and found a way to get even deeper into our subconscious skin with their inimitable music.
With almost half of the setlist comprised from Cut Copy’s most celebrated record, the quartet treaded the fine line between pleasing the crowd and pushing to establish their latest incarnation - less harmony, more synth-beat aggression. Even with the program heavily favoring In Ghost Colours, it felt somewhat anti-climatic leaving the house without hearing their quintessential anthem, “Unforgettable Season”. Nevertheless, one never forgets a Cut Copy concert.
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