Pitchfork Music Festival 2012, live review | Cults
With monsoon rains quickly becoming the theme of this year's fest, if any artists were to tackle the weather it would be Cults. Guitarist Brian Oblivion took the stage by flipping two birds way up towards the unwelcoming clouds as vocalist Madeline Follin cowered in the wings, encased in a clear plastic bag. But just as the clock struck their set time, the skies parted and flooded with sunshine rather than water.
After an extended instrumental opening, the Brooklyn duo started their set with "Abducted," a track that bears Cults' trademark chimes, but they were unfortunately overpowered by an intense clapping session. The sound problems continued as midway through "The Curse" Follin's mic completely cut out, perhaps an extension of the rain-induced static that plagued Atlas Sound moments before, leaving Follin vigorously miming through the song. But as Cults began "Never Heal Myself," the audience was dismayed to hear—or rather, not hear—that mic problems hadn't been fixed. Luckily their dynamic instrumental work wasn't lackluster, but it's Follin's vocals that really help carry the songs. The issue wasn't resolved until the second chorus, to much acclaim by the crowd. Another New York duo, Sleigh Bells, seemed to bring some positive mojo with them as they watched on from the wings, prompting Cults to dedicate a song to them. "Okay, now we're going to play a topical song, depending on your circumstances," remarked Oblivion. Appropriately and thematically, the group started in on the twinkly keys of their breakout hit "Go Outside." So go outside the crowd did, and just in time for a band that encompasses charming sunny afternoons in a city park. Let's just hope the sentiment doesn't go awry.