I’ve come to the conclusion that the machines are out to get me. Now hear me out. As I’ve admitted previously, I know I’m not the most technologically savvy person, but Wednesday night the gadgets in my life decided to launch a coordinated effort to make me lose my shit. Thankfullly, Cold War Kids were there to make it all better.

I found out late Tuesday evening that I had scored a couple of passes to the group’s just-announced performance at the Bootleg Theatre. Aside from a short in-store set at Amoeba Music a couple of years back, I’d previously only seen Cold War Kids perform from nosebleed seats at the Wiltern, so the prospect of catching them in such an intimate setting had me excited all day Wednesday. Though the dreaded early AM alarm clock was keeping my usual photographer/husband from joining me at the show (the first electronic device to try to put a damper on my night), I’d lined up a stellar replacement photog, Christine Perez, and was frankly excited as shit when we left for the Bootleg Wednesday evening.

Cold War kids Bootleg frontman
All photos by: Christine Perez

And that’s when things started to get hairy. My car’s GPS, which managed to guide me from Florida to Cali to everywhere I’ve gone since with no problems, decides to just not work. No error messages, no flashing lights, just no global positioning. As I live in Burbank and work from home, I don’t make regular runs to Silverlake, so getting to the show sans navigation wasn’t gonna happen. Thankfully, Christine’s good buddy Siri came to the rescue, and we made it to the venue just in time for the end of opening act Superhumanoids’ set. First crisis averted!

Soon I was comfortably seated at the back of the Bootleg, the lights lowered, and Cold War Kids ascended the stage. This is the point where I would normally start rattling off the brillant things I jotted down in my Notepad app while watching the performance (real Pulitzer Prize-worthy observations, I promise), but halfway through Cold War Kids’ set, everything I’d written was erased. Yeah. Not sure how that happened, and I’m not completely ruling out user error, but I’m also not ruling out a robot conspiracy.

Cold War Kids Bootleg trio

At that point I just took a deep breath and decided the universe was trying to send me a message and that message was not going to be delivered via email — it was going to be delivered by five ridiculously talented musicians strumming guitars, pounding piano keys, and giving an audience a fraction the size of those they usually play in front of a performance that would touch us on a deeper level than any shaky iPhone video or ill-framed Instagram pic could ever reach.

Over the course of their lengthy set, Cold War Kids played what seemed like a full album’s worth of new songs (no doubt from their upcoming release, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, out April 2nd). They appeared to be making up the set list as they went along, discussing options amongst themselves between songs, while also taking audience suggestions. Though I can’t point out specific favorite tracks from the new release, I can say that the band seems poised to continue expanding on their style of percussive, bass-heavy tracks balanced by frontman Nathan Willett soulful falsetto with melodic guitar and piano lines filling out the middle.

Cold War kids Bootleg piano

Those in attendance were also treated to performances of “Hang Me Up To Dry,” “We Used To Vacation,” “Hospital Beds,” “Relief,” “Mine Is Yours,” “Audience,” and many more tracks from the group’s back catalogue, though this seemed to be one of those rare audiences that was as excited, if not more excited, to hear new music from their favorite band than to sing along to old classics. If Cold War Kids were using this show as a testing ground for the new album, judging by the rousing rounds of applause that echoed through the Bootleg every 3-5 minutes, I can confidently say the tracks earned an A+ with multiple gold stars Wednesday night. Just wish I could say the same about my gadgets.

Cold War Kids US Tour Dates:

02/15 – Pappy & Harriet’s Palace – Pioneertown, CA *
02/16 – SLO Brewing Company – San Luis Obispo, CA *
02/21 – The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA *
02/22 – Cellar Door – Visalia, CA *
02/23 – SOHO Music Club – Santa Barbara, CA *
03/08 – The Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ #
03/09 – Tricky Falls – El Paso, TX #
03/11 – Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX #
03/13 – Clive Bar – Austin, TX #
04/03 – Gothic Theatre – Englewood, CO
04/04 – Slowdown – Omaha, NB
04/05 – First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN
04/06 – Metro – Chicago, IL
04/09 – Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH
04/10 – Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MA
04/11 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
04/12 – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA
04/13 – Webster Hall – New York, NY
04/15 – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC
04/16 – Cannery Ballroom – Nashville, TN
04/17 – The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
05/16 – Neptune Theatre – Seattle, WA
05/17 – Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, BC
05/18 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR
05/23 – Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
05/24 – Henry Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
05/25 – Belly Up Tavern – Solana Beach, CA

* Superhumanoids supporting
# Hanni El Khatib supporting

For more info:

Cold War Kids