Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review: Cake at the Pageant, Wednesday, December 15

Posted By on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 9:00 AM

John McCrea, wielding a fierce vibraslap - TODD OWYOUNG
  • Todd Owyoung
  • John McCrea, wielding a fierce vibraslap

In the opening song of Cake's performance last night, singer John McCrea stated, "We are building a religion." Judging by the response from the claustrophobically packed crowd at the Pageant, the band was off to a good start. The audience cheered to the opening chords of almost every song not on the band's forthcoming Showroom of Compassion, hung on to every word McCrea sang or spoke and, as he noted, provided "excellent background vocals" throughout the night. For the most part, Cake earned this reception with a tight show which skillfully mixed old favorites with new material and engaged its lively audience with plenty of wry banter and sing-alongs.

View a slideshow of photos from Cake at the Pageant

The show got off to an excellent start with the dissonant strut and exotic synths of "Comfort Eagle," which gained energy as it chugged along. This made it all the more surprising when Cake followed it up with the slow "Sad Songs and Waltzes" and instrumental "Arco Arena." It felt strangely early in the night to hear these, but the audience ate it up all the same. The group continued its odd pacing when it later played three new songs consecutively. It helped that the first two tunes sounded like classic Cake, featuring funky grooves, twangy riffs, McRea's detached singing and sprinklings of mariachi trumpet. (The third found the band in waltz mode.)

Indeed, Cake did a commendable job of translating its unique sound to the stage. The band members hit all their marks like the seasoned pros they are -- and while they didn't burst with energy, they played with a focused intensity that brought their songs to life. Xan McCurdy in particular has mined the perfect guitar tone that features just the right amount of twang and is thick without being chunky. McCrea's detached and sarcastic air extended to his banter - after rallying two halves of the crowd against each other to see who could sing louder and be better, he asked why everyone couldn't just get along. At one point he gave away a tree to the first person to correctly identify the length of the civil war.

Tags: , ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Last Night, Reviews

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 5, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation