Live Review: The Drums and Cults – Metro Theatre (08.02.2011)

It’s usually a bad sign when you can hear people’s conversations over the band that’s playing. And, disappointingly, this was the case for most of Cults’ set. This was a band who don’t look comfortable playing together and who aren’t sure of what to do with themselves on stage.

Lead singer Madeleine Filon doesn’t move at all while she sings, preferring to stay in front of the microphone at all times. She doesn’t address the crowd either, that’s left to Brian Oblivion. They don’t make much of an effort to connect with their audience and when they close with ‘Oh My God’, it comes as a relief.

The Drums walk out late but they’re quickly forgiven for this as they jump, quite literally, into their set. Telling us they love playing sideshows because they can play what they want, they launch into ‘Best Friend’ from their self-titled debut, a surprisingly upbeat song about a friend dying.

Lead singer Jonathan Pierce causes mass hysteria when he takes off his jacket and throws it into the crowd, making everyone in the first three rows scream and lunge for it. The best thing about watching this band is their infectious energy and obvious love of performing. Pierce even tells us that tonight is: “Absolutely the best night of their new year,” a comment easy to believe after seeing the response they’re getting from this crowd.

Single ‘Money’ is played early and gets a huge reception, with the crowd almost drowning Pierce’s voice singing the catchy hook “But I don’t have any money,” and it’s impossible to stand still or wipe the smile from my face while they play it. This is an early standout and highlight until they play ‘Let’s Go Surfing’. It’s amazing that this somewhat simple, happy song gets the reaction it does. Watching Pierce bend towards the crowd and hearing everyone sing “Down, down baby, down by the rollercoaster. Sweet, sweet baby, I’ll never let you go,” along with him is the height of the set.

The biggest disappointment was turning around and noticing that the top level of The Metro was almost empty after ‘Let’s Go Surfing’. Those who left early missed out, since The Drums gave their all until the very end of the show. It will be hard to find a band more committed to having fun and pleasing their audience.

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Justine McNamara

I'm an Australian living in New York. I work in marketing but I write about music, New York, and my own personal experiences.

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