Show Review: Cloud Nothings @ Mohawk (4.26)

Cloud NothingsMohawk had an exceptional week with two sold out shows, but perhaps none was more personally anticipated than that of the Cloud Nothings line-up on Saturday evening.  I love every single band that was on that bill, and for those that caught all the acts, I’m sure they feel exactly the same.  Read on for some words and photos from Brian Gray. 

Nude Beach is perhaps one of the best little known bands around.  Their self-titled record from a year ago was filled with a nice blend of Americana rock and power-pop, and the three piece brought that stellar sound on every track, despite a little bit of opening technical difficulties.  I couldn’t help but think that this is what I always hoped that The Hold Steady would sound like as they grew into their own sound.  Nude Beach has the same chops, the same tradition in their songwriting, yet somehow they’ve got more energy on every song.  I can’t wait until they release something new so I can fawn all over them again.

The Men are a pretty dynamic band, at least in so far as their sound goes.  They can give you a roots-rock sound, or something harder, or even slow it down a bit.  But, most importantly is they’ve got the musicianship to pull it all off.  It doesn’t matter who’s playing what, or who’s singing, it all is executed with such professionalism that it’s hard to deny that they’re not one of the best acts around.  I do think that the vocals could have been turned up just a smidge, but with all that noise on stage it’s probably difficult to pull of the clean sound that’s apparent on their recordings.  Their recent album, Tomorrow’s Hits definitely got most of the playing time, but they were able to go back to tunes of New Moon and Open Your Heart as well, making every one happy.

Then came the barrage of noise and fury that has embodied Cloud Nothings for quite some time.  They did a great job of offering up modern hits like “Now Here In” off their most recent Here and Nowhere Else, but it was good to see that the band still garnered appreciation when they went back to Attack on Memory, and even further.  And, despite what I’ve heard about how Jason Gerycz could get more creative on the drum kit, he’s still phenomenal in his ability to drive the group’s sound, including his always exhilarating performances.  He’s probably one of my favorite drummers, period.  And, as usual they closed their set with “Wasted Days” working into their wall of discordant sound, illustrating just how tight the three piece truly is.  For those who haven’t caught the group live, you’re missing something special; this is all substance over hype.

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