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Friday, December 15

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Review Sat Sep 24 2011

Review: Cut Copy, Washed Out @ Pygmalion Music Festival, 9/23

It was just over two months ago that Cut Copy dominated a late afternoon set at Pitchfork. (And it was just this past Tuesday that they played a packed Riviera on the last leg of US touring.) They've come a long way from the band they used to be even three years ago - ditching t-shirts and jeans for dress shirts and trousers, using lighting more efficiently and scaling back when appropriate. It took a couple songs for them and the crowd to warm up at the Canopy Club on Friday night, but soon enough everyone got their bearings.

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Cut Copy (photos by Rory O'Connor)

Cut Copy's strengths are in creating atmospheres drenched in synth-pop, disco beats, new wave and essentially being respectful of the 80s electronic sounds that they revere. While 2008's In Ghost Colours was a pastiche tour de force, their latest Zonoscope is no slouch either and has crisper songwriting. Hearing their current toned-down rendition of "Saturdays", which always sounded like a vessel to replicate the sick hook from "Music Sounds Better With You", makes you realize how much they've grown as songwriters in not pulling in every trick up their sleeve.

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Cut Copy (photo by Rory O'Connor)

Now, the confidence to put the searing standout "Need You Now" at the front of Zonoscope (instead of burying it like its cousin "Strangers in the Wind" on IGC) is a huge step, but that song just cannot compete live with a thumper like "Lights & Music" that had the whole front section of the Canopy Club pogoing. The chorus for "Hearts on Fire" had a similar effect. That's not to imply that "Need You Now" or even "Blink and You'll Miss a Revolution" don't have their moments, but nobody's losing their mind for those, even if they're acknowledging how pure the songwriting is. Although, I suppose that's part of scaling down. In a short set (just barely an hour), Cut Copy showed off their new strengths but didn't completely forget their wild past.

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Washed Out (photo by Rory O'Connor)

Opener Washed Out springboarded off of their chillwave records into a surprisingly full and lush set. In the past, leader Ernest Greene has been a solo act with a laptop. Now with a full band (an array of keys/samplers/iPad, bass and drums) it appears like Washed Out's figured out how to sound dynamic live. They may not bring it as hard as Cut Copy, but they establish solid grooves underneath synthy soundscapes.

[Gapers Block will have coverage later this weekend of Grandkids, the Luyas and Dodos from Friday night, as well as whatever we run into on Saturday.]

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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