Reviews > Shows
Cold War Kids in Boston
Cold War Kids
House of Blues
Okay, everyone needs to just back off Cold War Kids. Everyone who is questioning the evolution of their music, their authenticity, everyone who wants to pigeonhole them as a wannabe arena band or a “Christian” rock band just needs to just chill out, and catch a CWK show.
Playing before a packed House of Blues crowd in Boston Tuesday night, the foursome hit the stage a little after nine o’clock and launched into a one-two of “Royal Blue” and “Finally Begin” from recently released Mine Is Yours. In a set that leaned heavily on the new album – eight of the 15 songs were tracks from Mine Is Yours – the band showed where their sound is heading.
Staples like “Mexican Dogs” and “Hang Me Up to Dry” were mixed with well-received newcomers “Skip the Charades,” “Louder Than Ever,” “Cold Toes on a Cold Floor.” Then, following a pair from 2008’s Loyalty to Loyalty (“I’ve Seen Enough” and “Golden Gate Jumpers”), the band blazed through a five song battery that showed how the new and old sounds are of a piece. The new gem “Bulldozer,” with bassist Matt Maust and guitarist Jonnie Russell chiming distant echoes of U2 (think “One Tree Hill”), segued into “Sensitive Kid,” sounding more taut and menacing than it does on Mine Is Yours. Then “Audience,” from last year’s Behave Yourself EP, “Hospital Beds” (from 2006’s Robbers and Cowards ), and “Flying Upside Down” closed out the set prior to a four-song encore.
I’ve come late to CWK, so suffer none of the angst of the flock of followers who have lamented the group’s changing sound (is there nothing more tiresome than fans who believe only a band’s early work is their “true” sound?). But coming late to the game has let me take Mine Is Yours as is – and what it is, is a fully realized album that lets the band weave some more interesting threads than are possible on the short-form EPs they have favored in the past.
When all is said and done, this is just four guys playing music (Nathan Willett on vocals, piano, guitar, and Matt Aveiro on drums round out the quartet). They don’t make a claim to anything more than that. Jesus Freaks? Oh please (although, truth in advertising, a song on the new album does include the line “The crown on my head is heavy on me.”). If the fault is Cold War Kids are too earnest, not ironic enough for the Criticerati – I’ll take it. Let them play. For god’s sake (no pun intended), they put on a good show.
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