Melbourners Cut Copy shot into focus for me following the release of their sophomore album, In Ghost Colours, whose single “Lights & Music” became something of a pre-concert listening ritual for me. As I walked into The Palladium on Tuesday, it occurred to me that it had been three years since I had seen the group last. In that time, they had released another album, 2013’s Free Your Mind, bringing the total count up to four. I made no secret of my somewhat lukewarm feelings for their latest effort, but having seen the band live several times prior, I knew that they were more than capable of turning me on to it with their live set.
Having caught a bit of her Morning Becomes Eclectic performance earlier that morning, I got to The Palladium bright and early so I could catch all of Canuck Jessy Lanza’s set. Mixing her live beats over her soulfully breathy vocals, Lanza delivered a stunning set. I’ll be disappointed if I don’t see her name making its rounds on the festival circuit in the coming years.
The crowd on the floor of The Palladium swelled considerably following Lanza’s set in anticipation of Cut Copy and seemed to reach a sort of critical mass once the opening beats of “We Are Explorers” filled the venue. In my review of Free Your Mind, I stated that this was far and away my favorite track on the album and easily one of my favorite tracks from the band, and I’m still standing by that assessment after having seen it live.
I was hoping that the other tracks from Free Your Mind would translate incredibly live and make me “get” the album, but I’m admittedly still a little meh on the release as a whole. The album’s self-titled track took a bit of the wind out of the sails from “Take Me Over,” and “Let Me Show You Love” started to drag a bit toward the end. There’s no doubt that Cut Copy played the material well as they oft do, and I can’t speak for the crowd around me as they were definitely into it, but I for one remain mildly underwhelmed by their newer material.
The tracks from their previous three albums, however, sounded phenomenal. “Where I’m Going” drew joyous “YEAH”s from the crowd in time with the track’s lyrics, and the rich sounds of “So Haunted” were equally well-received by the crowd. A venue-wide dance party erupted for “Hearts On Fire,” which was followed up by the mellow cool-down that was “Saturdays.”
The standout track of the night, however, was easily the main set’s closer “Lights & Music.” LA crowds may have garnered the reputation of being more unenthusiastic, but they were anything but as they danced, jumped, and sang along to the track.
At the end of it all, a night with Cut Copy is a night well spent. Although I’m admittedly partial to previous sets I’ve seen of theirs (which featured their older material more prominently), I left their show on Tuesday more than satisfied.