Show Review: Cut Copy with Holy Ghost! at the Regency Ballroom, 4/16 and 4/17/2011

by Carla Deasy on April 19, 2011

Creative Commons allows us to bring you awesome Cut Copy photos, cut and copied from Flickr. Click the photo to see more of ldavid's work.

I’ve been waiting to see this band for a long, long time.  They’re one of my absolute favorites, so when I got my little fan club email about tickets going on sale, I was ALL over it.  Like woke up at the crack of dawn over it.  Their newest album Zonoscope was just starting to have little early “leaks” that were streamed over the internet.  I’ve been beside myself for months…  I was going to see Cut Copy on this US tour no matter what.

Now if you don’t know about Cut Copy (shame!), they’re a electro/synthpop band out of Melbourne, Australia.  Probably why they don’t get out here too much.  I know that I’m particularly drawn to them as their sound is a contemporary manifestation of New Wave, Post-Punk and Synthpop genres.  All stuff I obsessively love and can’t help but dance to.

Zonoscope is Cut Copy’s third album, but they have a ton more material out there.  EPs, singles, they’ve remixed other people’s songs, other people have remixed their songs.  Most recently Carl Craig remixed “Need You Now,” which is one of my favorite songs off the new album.

The first day of Cut Copy was a bit of a disaster for me.  And I mean me personally.  I’d never been to the Regency Ballroom before, so if you’re thinking about going, know that it get’s hot in there.  Like 9 Rings of Hell kind of hot.  I dressed pretty lightweight, but I was standing about the halfway point in the venue with a sea of people around me.  No air, no relief.  I think I almost barfed, I most certainly got dizzy enough that I had to go stand on the sidelines for a bit.

The night was made worse by my dildo of an ex-boyfriend, who was the only one who would come with me.  Surprising for a sold out show.  Maybe that says something about me.  So, I was dancing but entirely distracted by the heat, checking my phone for my wandered off companion and then getting into a fight with aforementioned person of ill repute.  I left after the main set, angry and frustrated, but I knew I’d be coming the next day.  So I let it go, and put all of my eggs in the next days basket.

The opening band  was Holy Ghost!, and they were pretty fucking fabulous.  They’re also an electropop band, but from New York and with a totally different sound. New wave but with a touch of funk as some of the beats had a disco edge to them. Which makes sense since two of the band memebers, Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel, were in a hip-hop project together called Automato.  Lead singer, who I’m guessing is Millhiser, has an interesting understated way of talking and singing.  Or maybe it was the sound guy, because there is a clarity to their recorded tracks vocals that wasn’t there during the performance.  But that didn’t take away from the performance at all, mind you.    They were fantastic, and I will be looking out for them in the future when they make their way back to the West Coast.

Is Holy Ghost! the new Pet Shop Boys? They are to Carla.

On a sidenote: I really want one of them to be gay. There was a whole Pet Shop Boys thing going on that just couldn’t be purely coincidental. And I’m in love with the blond keyboardist with the white v-neck tee shirt and cute vintage specs.  He had these cute little dance moves that popped out from time to time.

The good thing about about coming into the Sunday show having already had a sneak preview, was I knew certain cues in the set for things to come, so I was able to take some pretty awesome videos because I could be ready ahead of time. As the lights go down and the crowd goes freaking bananas, the white door on stage lights up and the band members of Cut Copy saunter on through.  They take their spots behind their respective mics, synths, guitars, drums and just launch into it.

The evening was such a blur.  I only stopped dancing for one song, and since I was the third person deep from the stage, I was still in motion from everyone else.  Dance music usually breeds positivity and there was no shortage of good vibes in the house tonight, or either night of these sold out shows.   I’ve heard that Cut Copy has bailed on shows before, but they seemed really personable, friendly and engaged.  And boy, by the end of the evening were they all fully drenched in sweat.

These photos from the Showbox in Seattle on 4/12/2011

One of the things that I loved was how they played material from all their albums and it all seamlessly worked together.  There is a coherent essence to this band that has remained intact even as they are developing as musicians and as a band.  The set lists were different both nights, but they definitely hit on singles from multiple albums as well as lesser known songs to mix it up a bit.  I think I preferred the set list from the second night, but might have been subjective because I was right up in front and with better company.

This is one of those bands that I listen to over and over, they’re part of my daily life really.  I’m still a bit shell shocked from seeing them live for the first time, even days later.  They’re touring again this summer.  If you like electronic music, if you like dancing, if you like amazing shows, you need to catch them on their next go round that’s right around the corner.

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