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Review: Cold War Kids at St. Andrew’s Hall

by Justin Trudell

Cold War Kids played for a sold out show at St. Andrew’s Hall on Tuesday night and I was mildly shocked. Cold War Kids are a great band, they’ve been around a while, they have a couple big hits, but I’m a cynical asshole and refuse to believe really good bands actually sell out shows.

Typically, in Detroit at least, sell outs are reserved for nostalgia acts like Sum 41, monster names like The 1975, or Kid Rock (x10) because he’s big around these parts. Cold War Kids perform interesting, borderline odd sounding songs. There should be nothing but hipsters sparsely populating the dance floor spending more time looking at their Twitter feed than the band.

The opening act of this adolescent themed night, Middle Kids, set a great tone. The Aussie trio had a distinctly more grungy sound than Cold War Kids, but they were just as impressive. Unfortunately, not much in the way of a bio exists on Middle Kids online. Their final song, “Edge of Town,” was a memorable jam that will surely make it to many Spotify playlists.

Cold War Kids arrived to an eager mass of fans immediately kicking into “All This Could Be Yours,” the first track on the newest album Hold My Home. The steady rhythm and memorable hook was enough to grab the audience immediately. While Cold War Kids aren’t likely to turn the venue into a dance floor, their catalog has catchy “bops” to keep us singing along.

As a somewhat veteran concertgoer, I always dread hearing the band I’m seeing utter something along the lines of “Here’s a new song…it’s really good,” when introducing a track. The overselling makes me think (because I’m a cynical asshole), “They want this to be a hit, but even they know it sucks”…and usually it does. The track “Love is Mystical” was prefaced with a similar soliloquy, and it TOTALLY lived up to his promise.

Cold War Kids played all their biggest hits, including my favorite, “We Used to Vacation”. They ended with a really great rendition of “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna. They concluded with an especially wild “Something Is Not Right With Me” with Middle Kids on stage with them. It was an incredibly enjoyable night. We discovered a new band to keep an eye on, the phrase “this next song is really good” from the lead singer is not always a lie, and Detroit definitely knows when a great band comes to town.

PHOTO ALBUM

Setlist (via Setlist.fm)
All This Could Be Yours
Miracle Mile
Louder Than Ever
Hot Coals
Hang Me Up to Dry
Can We Hang On
We Used To Vacation
Love Is Mystical
Every Man I Fall For
Saint John
So Tied Up
Drive Desperate
Hospital Beds
First
Bitter Poem
Encore:
Mexican Dogs
Love on the Brain
Something Is Not Right With Me

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