Friday, April 8, 2011

Cut Copy live in Boston

At: House of Blues, Boston on Monday

In the normal trajectory of a band’s rise to the top of the indie-rock food chain, there’s a sweet spot where the X and Y axes of hype and creative output come together in a perfect storm. The band in question is established enough to draw a devoted following, with one or two beloved albums in the arsenal, but not so big that their popularity interferes with the experience of seeing them. For Australian indie-electropop outfit Cut Copy, that moment arrived at the Paradise in May of 2008, where the nascent dance act left no body in the house unmoved, gliding through their breakthrough record “In Ghost Colours.’’

That’s not to say the band’s arrival at the much larger House of Blues on Monday wasn’t a rush of dance-floor lasciviousness; it’s just that dancing your heart out with a few hundred friends is different than doing it with a couple thousand. That adjustment in scale didn’t stop the full house of tightly packed revelers from jumping along to Cut Copy’s alternating techno-driven jamming and taut, anthemic tunefulness over the span of a 90-minute set.
On newer songs like the Union Jack-waving “Take My Hand,’’ the five-piece melded three-part harmonies with a galumphing bass oscillation. “So Haunted’’ found them inserting layers of guitar dissonance in between moments of pop beauty, while “Take Me Over’’ flirted with the group’s native pop canon, evoking Men At Work gone clubbing.
When the dance dial was turned up, it proved to be the band’s strong suit, with the more techno-driven songs like “Lights and Music’’ and “Hearts on Fire’’ enlivening the crowd like a kick-drum-powered defibrillator. Toward the end of the set, “Feel the Love,’’ an admixture of thrumming acoustic guitars and heavily effected computer vocals, found the ideal point where the group’s bipolar musical vectors converged: Neither an indie-rock band, nor a full-bore electronic act, Cut Copy nonetheless found room to embrace members of both camps into their welcoming fold.

Boston Globe

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