After the lull of an average school and work day, fans of all ages gathered together at the Majestic Theatre on a seemingly quiet Tuesday night for Cold War Kids, an alternative, indie-rock band that is most notable for their hit, “First.” Shivering from both the chilling weather and anxious excitement, I stood in line for the doors to open at 7 p.m. There was a small crowd beside me making small talk and shivering; all of us were different, yet all of us were fans, and together, we were all unaware of the bold and lively dynamic that awaited inside the theater.
The openers, Middle Kids, was a great start to the show. The Australian group performed upbeat, dance tempos off their newly released EP, producing a significantly happy and lightweight buzz. The lead singer, Hannah Joy, bounced around stage with an airy feeling, swaying and bopping in a carefree manner that made you want to break out your own at-home-alone-dance-party moves alongside her. Notable songs the trio performed included “Fire in your Eyes,” “Your Love” and Joy’s guitar version of the ballad, “Doing It Right.”
When Cold War Kids finally came on stage, they were met with cheers of excitement from their eclectic mix of fans. The five-member band kicked off the show with one of their hits, “All This Could Be Yours,” from their recent album, Hold My Home. Following this, they performed the crowd pleaser, “Miracle Mile,” a track off one of their older albums, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts. The fast-paced and staccato piano paired with strong percussion had everyone on their feet, creating an electric surge of energy as a base for the rest of the show.
A few songs in, lead singer Nathan Willett announced they would be performing one of their newer tracks, “Can We Hang On?” a single from their upcoming album titled LA Divine. Despite its fairly recent debut, fans around the theater were belting the lyrics alongside the band with just as much enthusiasm as they had with their older numbers. Continuing on with the passionate atmosphere, Willet traded his electric guitar for a rustic, upright piano for their song, “We Used to Vacation,” a personal favorite. Time seemed to slow during the pre-chorus, presenting dramatic pauses, a period of time when the whole theater was quiet, yet smiling in anticipation for the soulful lyrics to follow.
Bringing the tempo back up and returning to their more well-known indie-rock sound, Cold War Kids performed the debut single for LA Divine, “Love Is Mystical.” Guitarist and backup vocalist David Quon had everyone from the balcony to the bar to the front row happily clapping along.
When the lights dimmed a deeper blue and the first few notes of Willet’s electric guitar echoed alone throughout the theater, he told the crowd they’d play a song illustrating a different perspective than their usual: that of a woman’s. In “Every Man I Fall For,” Cold War Kids took things slower, as Willet crooned words of heartbreak and hopelessness, each verse more haunting than the previous.
At the end of their setlist, Cold War Kids performed their most popular single, “First.” Once the iconic initial notes were played, screams echoed throughout the theater, cell phones polluted the air in attempts to capture the crowd-pleaser.
Cold War Kids performed three more songs for their encore. The most intriguing of the three was their cover of Rihanna's “Love on the Brain.” Their cover of the R&B singer’s soulful ballad proved that seeing a band branch out of their usual genre and perform their own rendition is always worth staying until the end.
The variety in Cold War Kids' setlist, by having tracks from their very first album to their newest single and all that’s in between, ended up creating a lively and animated show. Spirited fans were able to enjoy both old classics and new hits, no matter their age. If you have the chance to see the dynamic group in the near future, I highly recommend getting your hands on some tickets.
Cold War Kid’s seventh album is planned to be released April 7, 2017.