If you picked Cake, you win. Cake recently headlined a local radio station’s Nightmare Before X-Mas concert (X96 if you’re a Utah local). The event took place at the Great Saltair, a concert venue located on the shore of the Great Salt Lake. My grandparent’s used to go to dances there so its been around for a long time.
Anyway, back to the show. Cake is a solid act, I’ve seen them before and they know how to put on a great show. Lots of audience interaction and lead singer John McCrea always makes things entertaining. They started the night with Sheep Go To Heaven and just kept the hits coming. The only downside to their performance was the length of the show. They played for just over an hour and barely scratched the surface of their full music catalog, especially when the first 10 minutes of their show was a prerecorded Rocky-like anthem that seemed to go on forever till the band finally came out on stage. However, the show was worth it just to see them…but I was almost ready to leave during the second band.
Two other bands shared the bill with Cake, Brogan Kelby and The Naked and Famous. Brogan Kelby is a local teen who’s been getting some radio airplay and he and his band-mates put on a good, high energy show. For me just seeing how much fun they were having made me enjoy the show even though I wasn’t familiar with them. At this point it was looking to be a good show.
Then out came The Naked and Famous. Wow, they really reminded me how old I am. The music was too loud (yes, I just admitted I am old) but to make it worse, you couldn’t understand a word they were singing and while having three people on keyboards at the same time worked for Depeche Mode I think the whole electronica thing has had its day. They really liked to combine feedback with the sound of a phone left off the hook, I almost physically covered my ears it was so bad.
I’m going to really date myself here but they appeared to be going for an early Sneaker Pimps type sound (male and female lead singers with an electronica/techno feel) but they ended up sounding more like the Sugarcubes (anybody remember Bjork’s old band), to me this is not a compliment. Bjork is practically incomprehensible when she sings and The Naked and Famous were the same. Even their songs that get played on the radio are the types of songs no one actually knows what the lyrics are. Granted, if songs like this didn’t exist what would have to argue about? (No, The Clash don’t sing a song called Stop the Catbox, I promise).
After an excruciating hour they were done and thankfully Cake closed out the show on a positive note, they weren’t even too loud, maybe I’m not as old as I thought.