I remember discovering Cult’s most famous sugary pop song, “Go Outside,” folding laundry when I was 14 years old. I didn’t stop listening to it for weeks. When I walked into Urban Lounge last Sunday night, the same feelings I had as a 14-year-old came rushing back, amidst the smoke and smell of alcohol on tongues all around me. I was younger then, and I am older now, and the Cults have not lost their magic.
Madeline, the frontwoman, wore a short black dress and her hair in ringlets. This was a stark contrast from the audience, who were all dressed up in Halloween costumes. She looked about as girly as her voice sounds, but was very reserved on stage. Nothing was said between numbers minus small mumblings of gratitude, which were offered often. Madeline was in the spotlight for the entire duration of the show, and her band members seemed – though supportive – second-string. We were attentive of where the power lay in this small band.
The performance wasn’t very social, to my surprise, but definitely delivered in music. Cults played a set of 15 songs, about half of them from their new album, Offering. The alternation between old and new kept the setlist fresh and the audience engaged. We made sure to let the performers know which ones they liked, cups raising.
“I Took Your Picture” was a favorite, and hollering ensued for a while after the band struck their last chord. “Never Heal Myself” was played a bit slower, almost like a ballad, an ode to change. The latter was the highlight of the show for me, as I recalled the change I’ve seen in myself since discovering this group. In the tiny, crowded room, I was reminded of the early love I had for Cults, as was every other person present.