Last Night: Cut Copy at the Fillmore
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Review by Melissa Baron
Better Than: Doing homework. Not as good as watching The Office.
Hey Cut Copy, Duran Duran called and they want their catalog back.
Some critics argue that music, much like fashion, comes in cycles. The same ideas, beats, and rhythms are constantly recycled into new adaptations of something that has already been done. There's truth to this, but there are also bands attempting to play innovative, creative, and inventive music. Cut Copy isn't among those acts, as was made clear at last night's Fillmore show.
The concert opened with Matt & Kim, the Brooklyn duo notorious for being the happiest people alive. With the venue only about half full, their sound was lost in the massive hall, echoing into the ceiling and the wings. They had the same set up as their last show, with big screens displaying projections of their name, along with video footage and their new album cover. The duo looked sweetly uncomfortable playing in such a giant, historic venue like the Fillmore, especially while playing for a crowd unfamiliar with their music. They were very gracious and thankful that people arrived early enough to actually watch their set, though, and they brought their reliably incredible energy to the performance.
Cut Copy was another story.
The Melbourne, Australia natives subscribe to the New Wave-y, dance party shtick, but they actually play instruments. That might be one of their pitfalls. Hearing a Cut Copy record summons recollections of all the other hipster electropopsters on the scene -- Justice, Hot Chip, Daft Punk. But live, Cut Copy doesn't live up to its peers because the group sounds exactly like it does record. Why don't the members save themselves the trouble of actually touring and just hire a DJ to spin their songs? It would sound the same either way.
Last night's show was completely sold out, a testament to Cut Copy's following. But as mentioned, the band's live experience could be replicated without the members actually being present. They lack in stage personality, and their ridiculous light show made the venue look like a 1985 roller rink. At one point during the concert they had technical difficulties with the drum machine and their real live drummer couldn't keep the show going. Nor could did they redeem themselves with banter. Put simply, Cut Copy had zero charisma.
After seeing Cut Copy life, the hype behind this band makes no sense. They're praised as an innovative electropop band, but we've heard it all before. The group is less flamboyant Culture Club, less attractive than Duran Duran, painfully less talented than Depeche Mode. It's not "inspired by," it's a poor duplicate of the past.
Does Cut Copy refer to cutting out parts of other good acts and copying them completely--minus any personality?
Random Detail: Apparently dance music fans are no longer required to wear American Apparel! Very different from six months ago. The new uniform is plaid.