by: Lindsay Colip
photos: Doug Heine
It’s 1986. i’m watching flight of the navigator. I’m wearing spandex, a head band, a fringe spin art kitty cat shirt. I’m fist pumping and chain smoking and tragically hip. All of a sudden, somebody dances into my space and I’m jolted back to reality. I’m at a Washed Out/Cut Copy show. It’s 2011. Fuck, how did I get here?
Washed Out released one of the best records of the year, Within and Without. If you haven’t heard it, I would say the album is a kaleidoscopically beautiful cotton candy beach cruising landscape fly over dream pop affair. It’s the backdrop to any nature heavy, bliss out moment. You feel like you’re disintegrating, melting, fuzzing out. I was curious to see how he would play this butter melt live. I would say the live show sounded familiar, as in I was able to recognize the tracks, nod my head….but the sound was very different. It was beat heavy, bass thumping. tambourine was front and center and loud. They amped it up for the live show. I’m not complaining exactly, in fact it was nice hearing the songs i’ve come to love live…but it was a pretty heavy version of everything and I like the lightness of this band. I guess i’ve just grown to love Washed Out more blurry than sharp over the years. But what did i expect? They are opening for Cut Copy for tits sake. They have to bring it. Let’s be clear, this particular crowd was there to dance their faces off. Washed Out was the perfect hors d’oeuvre to a gluttonous meal. Everyone felt good, tingly, happy. Knowing what’s on tap. and on tap, was a welcome Australian slap in the face.
These guys are killing the live show right now. Cut Copy knows how to throw a party. A big one. A dramatic one. I wasn’t sure if I was watching Cats, Les Misérables, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat or a concert at the Palladium (which by the way is a really sick venue and climbing quickly to the top of my music houses of LA list). I was half giddy with the performance and half stoked with the music. They played everything I wanted to hear with absolute vigor and pomp. Hands up, fists balled, sweat on brow. They danced us through their newest album Zonoscope (Corner of the Sky, Need You Now, Pyramids and Pharaohs, Take Me Over) and soaked us in the greats (Lights and Music, Hearts on Fire, So Haunted). Everyone was dancing and beyond keyed.
I don’t have to sell you on this show. If you like a party, if you like to dance, if you like a build, this is the band to see. Any venue, any city…they will impress you. More importantly, Washed Out is a great compliment to this show. The foreplay to the orgasm. In 1986 artists made you wallow in your angst, feel the rejection, breathe in your pain. The welcome difference here is that Cut Copy/Washed Out lets you release it all into a one solid fist pump.
//Lindsay has written for various music sites, including SPINearth and Jambase, traveled the world covering music festivals, was a SPINearth video correspondent for ‘i am with the fans’ music tour and alongside photographer steven ‘walt’ walter, produced, directed and edited ‘live and local’ acoustic performances for SPINearth.