With a line already down the street on arrival, the atmosphere outside Metropolis Fremantle for Cold War Kids was buzzing. It’s been a good part of three years since California rockers set foot on Perth shores so it was definitely to be expected. And as fans anxiously queued up to see them live in the flesh, there was a feeling overhead you were going to be in for one hell of a night.
Perth indi-rockers Verge Collection were up first and offered a great support slot to get Cold War Kids fans in the mood for what was still to come. After reminiscing about being back at Metros Fremantle after so long and how much everything’s changed since then, lead singer Ben Arnold led the band into the show. The four blokes worked the crowd with ease, helping to get rid of those Sunday-night blues and painful thoughts about tackling work the next day.
Despite breaking a string mid-song, Arnold kept the show together, casually replacing the guitar and getting back into it all barely missing a beat. The groove with these local boys was definitely there, with a few great tracks up their sleeves that got the audience pumped. They finished up with Our Place and overall put on a good show, but nothing compared to the amount of energy Cold War Kids kicked into gear next.
There was already a lot of screams happening from the crowd well before Cold War Kids hit the stage; and their first show starting their Australian tour left a lasting impression. Taking the indi-rock world by storm, Cold War Kids brought their soulful sensibility and rock numbers to stage with a breath of fresh air. Making one hell of an appearance they launched straight into “the first song they every wrote together”, Don’t Let Your Love Go Away.
Their sizzling hot beats had the crowd hooked quickly – and it was clear what all the hype is about seeing these guys live. Cold War Kids seemed to put a lot more zest into their performance than many other international bands making their way to Perth, busting out each track just as intensely as the last. They gave a shit about ensuring their fans got the absolute best, an ultimate performance that was dripping with energy and good-vibes. Sure the amped-up production would’ve made an impact with their part of the show too, but there was a professionalism about the band that wasn’t pretentious – they were just a bunch of guys, doing what they do best.
Their set was well-paced, with tracks like All This Could Be Yours, Miracle Man and Hang Me Up To Dry all making an appearance. Recapturing the excitement from their 2014 album Hold My Home, First was a room-banger of a track, but didn’t seem to get the full impact from the crowd as you would’ve expected. Cold War Kids worked in earlier number too, including Louder Than Ever and One Song at a Time; making sure they didn’t forget about those fans that have stayed true to them from the beginning. The audience by this stage were happily crammed into the bottom space of the venue fist pumping their little hearts out (a bit of a disappointment the balcony was closed) which, combined with the rock-infused rhythms, was enough to get the vibe really rolling strong.
Nathan Willett’s vocals were just as dynamic live as they are on the record. There was a definite maturity there – a casual tone to their presence that flowed noticeably. The piano-driven tracks where Willett moved to the keyboard were big crowd pleasers too; in particular, We Used to Vacation and Hospital Beds, which closed the set off nicely. Saving Something Is Not Right With Me for the first of their encores, Cold War Kids finalised the show with Saint John – which was somewhat of an anticlimax. As a whole, Cold War Kids were sheer indi-rock perfection. A solid, grit-filled and cultured performance that any indi-rock lover (or Cold War Kids fan!) would’ve been completely satisfied with.
Special thanks to theMusic.com.au for the use of their images.