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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 22, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 16
Cut Copy transcendent at Showbox SoDo
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Cut Copy transcendent at Showbox SoDo

by Jessica Price - SGN Contributing Writer

Cut Copy
April 12
The Showbox SoDo


The Showbox SoDo is a notoriously difficult venue for live music lovers. For Cut Copy last week, the cavernous warehouse with its ceiling of exposed wooden beams only added to the unmistakable feeling of being at an underground rave. (In fact, no one has sounded as perfect for the Showbox SoDo since electronic pioneers Sasha & Digweed's 'Delta Heavy' tour hit an early incarnation of the space in 2002.) The atmosphere was particularly appropriate, considering that Cut Copy's newest album, Zonoscope, was actually recorded in a warehouse and sounds pitch-perfect in an expansive, throbbing, sweaty room.

Throbbing and sweaty is an apt description for the crowd, as well. From the moment Cut Copy emerged through an oversized, enigmatic door to take the stage, people were losing their minds - along with their inhibitions. Images of blowing clouds and intense, dramatic lighting only increased the uproar as Dan Whitford cajoled the audience to dance, and dance some more. 'Visions/Nobody Lost, Nobody Found' and 'Where I'm Going' instantly united the mixed crowd of Gay boys, ex-ravers (all grown up and holding down day jobs), and older 'intelligent dance' aficionados who once made up the fashionable club set of the '80s. The sold-out show was packed, but surprisingly comfortable - owing largely to the Showbox SoDo's size and ability to accommodate crystal-clear sound for extremely loud electronic-based shows.

'So Haunted,' 'Corner of the Sky,' and 'Lights and Music' came next, during which everyone cut loose in a sea of bobbing, dancing bodies from wall to wall. I caught many a glazed eye and face blissed out in ecstasy - very likely a fair amount of people lost in the music were in a harmless but decidedly chemically induced trance. 'Take Me Over' exemplified the band's foothold in new wave. Cut Copy continued to pound through 'Pharaohs and Pyramids' and 'Saturdays,' never pausing for more than a feverish plea to 'JUST DANCE!' until they reached the first of several raucous encores. Deeply gracious to the end, they finished on a high with 'Hearts on Fire,' 'Need You Now,' 'Out There on the Ice,' and finally 'Unforgettable Season.'

It's almost laughable how many retro sounds one might recognize from OMD, Depeche Mode, New Order, or even Men Without Hats as you listen to Cut Copy's back catalog, yet the Australian band is never a rip-off. Their records are nothing if not sincere. They create new music from a familiar palette, but it's a good one. After all, there's a reason the music of the '80s is revered with such nostalgia today. Cut Copy's transcendent live show even surpassed the performances some of their now-defunct influences were able to pull off in their prime.

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