Easily flustered by traffic on the way in, all cares and woes were lost once Cake took the stage. That unmistakable guitar filter that they use filled my brain and the rest of the night I watched in more than moderate awe.
Thankfully, the show went a lot longer than any of their albums, each of which had songs performed at this particular event. The crowd were not particularly menacing; Cake fans seem on the whole to be a decent bunch. Naturally there were a few exceptions. Some recent failures from Australian Idol were in the seated area; standing to either be annoying or be noticed. "Sit down, dickhead!" someone screamed - but to no avail. Elsewhere in the crowd some goofball proclaimed "Triple M Rocks!" and was instantly and correctly rebuked with a surly look and a "no they don't" from a nearby Dan.
The crowd, however odd they were, were involved in some harmonies in such songs as Short Skirt/Long Jacket and Sheep Go To Heaven. Comfort Eagle had all the punters screaming out "dude" at just the right moment without any encouragement from the vocalist, John McCrea. And I use the word "vocalist" because it's interesting that he doesn't really sing. It's more a tuneful narration of the song. Odd, huh..
This band, however good they sound on any album, produces a fantastic sound in the live arena. Particularly frustrating is McCrea's insistence on delivering the vocals sometimes 2 seconds late. This sort of crazed syncopation does have the effect of making him sound drunk, but also discourages would-bes in the crowd that ruin it for everyone by singing as loud and as annoying a they can. Jerks.
The jerks would never be enough to ruin this. Cake played a splendid show. I only wish they toured more often.
They did the whole encore thing. Twice. If the lights aren't on, the show isn't over. Stop chanting.
Reviewed on Sunday, 3 April 2005