Last Night: The Cult @ The Grove in Anaheim

Better Than: Watching the Lakers lose to the Spurs.

Download: "Illuminated" from The Cult's website

The combination of roaring guitars, pummeling drums, driving bass and distinctive vocals is winning formula that has made The Cult successful for nearly thirty years. Ian Astbury (vocals) has one of the most characteristic voices in the rock world and still sounds as good as ever. Making it was no surprise that the Grove was packed last night.

Year Long Disaster sufficiently warmed up the crowd with a dash of Wolfmother like fuzz and early Queens of the Stone Age bass lines for a crowd pleasing opening set. Daniel Davies (vocals/guitars) was born to rock as he happens to be the son of Dave Davies of The Kinks. Daniel was all over the stage thrashing and slamming on his shiny gold top Les Paul. I saw many beers hoisted in the air at the end of their set as the crowd thoroughly approved.

The Cult's two remaining members, Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy (guitars), were backed by some well seasoned players as they played to the packed house. The two tore through a mixture of songs from the past as well as some numbers from their latest release "Born Into This."

John Tempesta (drums) was the engine that propelled the driving new tune "I Assassin" sounding very much like classic Cult material. Astbury belted out "Edie (Ciao Baby)" while maintining his classic sound. Billy Duffy was in top form as well. He would frequently engage his wah pedal for a ear ripping solo. "Illuminated" was another new song that fit well into their catalog as Chris Wyse (bass) triggered some seismic notes.

Astbury displayed his proficiency with the tambourine throughout the night and threw a few into the crowd to give some lucky fans an extra special souvenir. The Cult didn't neglect classic songs such as "Love Removal Machine" and the former radio staple "Fire Woman" as they put on a textbook rock show.

Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias:I used to practice playing guitar to The Cult album "Electric."

Random Detail:I ran into Page Hamilton of Helmet who happens to be one of my guitar heroes.

By The Way:Page was at the show to support his friend John Tempesta who used to drum for Helmet.

Click here to view photos from the concert.


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