Wild Cub – Bowery Ballroom, NYC (8/9/13)
On a gloomy and rainy Friday NYC night, magic happened in the prominent LES venue, Bowery Ballroom when Nashville’s own Wild Cub lit up the night.
Opening the show, fellow Tennessee-ans got the crowd going first with Natalie Press’ ambient electronic vibe and beautiful piercing voice, then with SACCO’s hard hitting indie rock. After a brief intermission, Wild Cub took the stage by storm opening with incredible positive energy of which enough cannot be said. Throughout the whole performance a vibe of positivity and joy continued to emanate from the band—all members of which were genuinely excited to perform their music for their New York fans. There was an honest connection between the audience and artist—an invisible but very real thread going from heart to heart, making what was a loud and energetic set feel simultaneously intimate and personal.
OK—here’s the bottom line. If you like 80’s music, indie rock, Phil Collins, a little bit of folky twang, and The King of Pop’s Billie Jean, Wild Cub needs to be your next listen. There’s an unmistakable 80’s inspiration to Wild Cub’s music, particularly the tracks “Wishing Well” and “Hidden in the Night” (which by the way has a killer groove and a deep loin-shaking bass that kicks in during the chorus). Meanwhile, the heartfelt love song dedicated to the singer’s wife, “Thunder Clatter” evoked a sweet folky vibe (along with a choir of “awww”’s from the crowd) sure to capture the hearts of those less keen on the 80’s/Phil Collins sound (do these people even exist?)
The show closed with “Summer Fires / Hidden Spells” which, aside from continuing the general 80’s trend, seemed to take a page from “Billie Jean”—though, if you’re going to sound like something, sounding like Billie Jean isn’t too bad a choice. The energy however, escalated far beyond the album version of this same track, ending what was a truly tight, obviously well rehearsed, written, and executed set with a bang.
Do yourself a favor and go to a Wild Cub show, but until you can, give Wild Cub a listen—you’ll thank me later.