Despite limited repertoire, band plays full set at Hi-Dive on Friday
Fans chanted lyrics, clapped their hands and stomped their feet at Friday night’s sold out Cold War Kids concert.
Named Artist of the Year by Spin Magazine, the Fullerton, Calif.-based band returned to Colorado for the second time to play the Hi-Dive at 7 S. Broadway in Denver.
After releasing their first full-length album, “Robbers & Cowards,” in Oct. 2006, the Cold War Kids quickly became a success in the world of independent music. Known for their high-energy and audience-captivating shows, this performance fulfilled fan’s expectations.
The Hi-Dive was filled to its 280-person capacity with people of all ages moving to the Cold War Kids’ distinctive sound. Lead singer Nathan Willet’s voice is similar to the high-pitched vibrato voice of Hamilton Leithauser of the Walkmen.
Many bands have influenced the Cold War Kids’ soulful, blues-y, piano-driven rock. Their influences include the soul music of Sam Cooke and Nina Simone, as well as artists like Tom Waits, Nick Cave and the Velvet Underground, Willets said.
With only one full-length, 12-song album and a couple of EPs on their plate, the Cold War Kids played a full set.
“We try to play songs people know,” Willett said.
Out of the 13 songs played at the show, 10 were from “Robbers & Cowards.” The other three songs were John Lennon’s “Well, Well, Well,” “Quite, Please,” from a 2005 EP, and their newest song: “Every Valley Is Not a Lake.”
The heavy soul influences of the Cold War Kids’ can be heard in this new song. The bass line is deeper and funkier than in past songs and is accompanied by Ray Charles-style piano played by Willett.
Sam Campbell, a senior English and film major, said the Cold War Kids’ set was one of the longest sets he’s seen from just one band.
“The Cold War Kids put out more than an entire set,” Campbell said. “They were more than generous because they had a lot of songs for the set and didn’t need to ask for an encore.”
Kelsey Harris, a senior film major, thought the song “Saint John” was one of the show’s highlights. Five members from the first opening act Delta Spirit accompanied the Cold War Kids for this song.
Willett prefaced the song by telling the audience it was about a man who had committed a crime. As the song started, the crowd chimed in, chanting the chorus “Old Saint John on death row, he’s just waiting for a pardon.” This song is reminiscent of the minimal drums, guitar and simple lyrics of the White Stripes.
Campbell said “Saint John” was the epicenter of the entire show.
“It was beyond my expectations,” Campbell said about the two bands played together and the performance in general.
The two opening bands, Delta Spirit and The Colour, are also from Fullerton, Calif. Both openers played a similar style of music as the Cold War Kids, but The Colour was lacking in the musical skills and stage presence that Delta Spirit offered.
Campbell, a fan of The Colour, was disappointed with their performance.
“The Colour was dismissible,” Campbell said. “They didn’t play a single song I was familiar with, and didn’t sound at all like the band I have on my iTunes.”
Delta Spirit engaged the crowd and may be one of the new Cold War Kids or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah overnight do-it-yourself successes.
After all of the chanting died down, the show ended with “Quiet, Please,” a song from their 2005 Mulberry Street EP, that sent the crowd home in a wave of euphoria.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Jenny Bergen at firstname.lastname@example.org.