Cold War Kids have hot show

William Herbe

An eclectic crowd downed their beers and cocktails in the lobby and bar of Los Angeles’ oldest venue.’ Teens, 50-year-olds, hipsters and hippies were all in a buzz for one reason, to see the Cold War Kids, an L.A.-based band that only four years ago were lighting up the university thoroughfares and bars of Cal State Fullerton.’ Now they are in the midst of a U.S. tour following the release of their second album, ‘Loyalty to Loyalty.”

The Orpheum Theater has a Victorian look and a vaudeville atmosphere.’ Can’t say the same for the band’s appearance, but vaudeville comes to mind when describing their production.’ They were extremely enticing on stage with their preppy, clean looks, but moved like stooges, knocking into each other while maintaining a superb sound. It looked choreographed, but there were times the band members crashed into each other during a long jam.’ They just smiled and continued on like they were on a playground.

The theater was awesome, the band was on fire and the crowd felt it, but they lagged a bit for the first few songs.’ It was a matter of time before the rock-gospel aroused their spirits and forced them to their feet.

Lead singer Nathan Willett crooned like a preacher on moonshine while slapping his hands and elbows on the piano.’ The rest of the band jumped, lurched and jammed as the infectious spectacle of scene and sound hooked the concert hall.

The band charged through 13 songs before they even took a breath. The crowd was in a frenzy coaxing them back on stage for a four-song encore featuring two new bluesy songs and a loaded ‘Saint John’ to crescendo.

In the downtown streets below the skyline, concert-goers shared their most recent experience.’ Something was in the air and it smelled different.’ Perhaps this is a new form for bands these days, a kind of rock theater or opera.’ Only difference is this is an opera for all. There is a unique pedigree for entertainment and these four guys from Fullerton are feeling it.