Live Review: Cold War Kids

30 March 2016 | 4:44 pm | Cate Summers

"Hopefully next time Cold War Kids are out with new material, their live show will pack a bit more energy and spontaneity."

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The Metro Theatre was abuzz on Easter Saturday for the final stop on Cold War Kids' national tour. Out here with a spot at Bluesfest and in support of 2014's Hold My Home, the Californian rockers had an eager crowd awaiting them in Sydney despite a lack of fresh material.

CWK have cultured an unmistakable sound thanks to Nathan Willett's searing vocals and without them the band would no doubt fall into the overwhelmingly large bin of indie-rock bands no one could care less about. His boisterous voice on Every Man I Fall For is what manages to save it from being just another mopey relationship song and the almost-battle between his vocals and the band on fast-paced Miracle Mile makes for a thrilling live song.

The issue with CWK, and especially in a live setting, is that sometimes it feels like the band are there merely to cocoon Willett's lyrics and, as soon as you feel that's the case, there's a lot of energy lost. Hang Me Up To Dry, a CWK staple from years back and an expected highlight, came across as sloppy and disjointed. Willett's continued efforts to get the crowd to take the lead and sing along really poked holes in the band's live act, as the rest of the boys chugged along with no real focus. Likewise One Song At A Time, which was a bit of a strain on Willett's live vocals, didn't manage to highlight anything but that fact.

This being said, CWK aren't a bad band to see live. Most of their songs are quite up-tempo and a lot of fun to listen to. Cold War Kids finished the night off with the smart pairing of crowd favourite Hospital Beds and the underrated whirlwind of a song that is Something Is Not Right With Me, whipping the crowd into an enthusiastic frenzy by the final notes.

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Live shows can sometimes become routine, especially if you're touring an album that's almost two years old. Hopefully next time Cold War Kids are out with new material, their live show will come across as less rehearsed and polished, and pack a bit more energy and spontaneity than what was seen tonight.