It’s Friday night on the back patio of Stubb’s and Baths is working his turntables putting on an awesome show. Sounds like a party, right? Well, unfortunately the crowd was not as receptive as one would expect. The mob of people swarming the stage stood completely still, silent and motionless. It’s unfathomable how anyone could possibly keep from dancing to his raging dance music, but the audience’s lack of energy wasn’t about to stop Baths from doing his thing. The performer himself was clearly giving the performance his all, dancing along to every scratch and womp. He put on a really impressive show that demonstrated his talents as a singer as well as a DJ. Hearing him live proves that Baths is clearly vocally gifted, and the fusion of his voice with his electronic mixing makes for the perfect club song. Though the lifelessness of the crowd was disappointing, Baths remained humbled and appreciative for each round of applause he received. He closed out with two songs he regarded as “dancy and homosexual,” encouraging everyone to bring out their inner gay.
Once Cold War Kids took the stage, the scene took a turn for the better. The crowd roared as the three guys hopped on stage and picked up their instruments after preparing for what seemed like an eternity. They started out by playing a few songs from their newest album, Mine Is Yours, which came out earlier this year. About four songs in, however, the crowd hushed and listened for the beginning notes to one of the group’s most popular songs, “Hang Me Up to Dry.” Cold War Kids lead singer Nathan Willet is known for striking high-pitched notes on a regular basis, and he nailed each one during the live show. Far too often do we see a live performance only to find that the singer isn’t quite capable of the talent his album insinuates. I’m happy to say this wasn’t the case on Friday. The group played a good mix of songs, new and old, during their 90-minute set. They concluded the show, which happened to be the last stop on their spring tour, by playing an old favorite, “Saint John.”
(Cold War Kids performed at Stubb’s in Austin, Texas on April 1, 2011)