Cake, the Lumineers at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 7/28/12 (photos and review)By Allen Klosowski | July 30th, 2012 | 2 comments
As evidenced by his tuxedo T-Shirt, Cake lead singer John McCrea was both formal and ready to party during Saturday’s show at Red Rocks. “Thank you, we are Cake, and we are here. Thank you for coming to our concert experience,” McCrea said in his deadpan humor that fans have come to expect.
Starting the set off slow with “Sad Songs and Waltzes” and “Opera Singer,” the crowd really began to move once “Frank Sinatra” and “Sheep Go to Heaven” rolled around.
“This song was written in a very tall building in New York before terrorism. Before we were afraid,” McCrea said as he kicked off the song “Guitar,” about throwing his guitar out of a 32-story apartment window.
Pedal steel player Greg Vincent made an appearance for a few songs including “Mexico” and “Walk On By” while McCrea light-heartedly taunted him for pandering to the crowd by wearing a Denver Broncos T-shirt. Based on the reaction of the crowd, the pandering worked.
The band is an eclectic mix of amped up acoustic guitar, trumpets, keyboards, bass and McCrea’s always present Vibraslap. Providing an interactive show, Cake led crowd sing-alongs, told stories and even gave away a peach tree to “Kim” from the crowd to plant and send yearly photos to the band’s website.
“Stick Shift and Safetybelts,” and “Never There” energized the crowd again, and the cheeky “Short Skirt Long Jacket” ended the set before the encore.
Cake brought its signature cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” to the encore, followed by another crowd favorite, “Sick of You,” in which McCrea pitted one side of the ampitheater against the other.
Finally going “The Distance” to close their set, the crowd had its fill.
Denver’s own folk rockers the Lumineers opened the show and kept the fans on their feet even through the cold and blustery rain. Getting their biggest single, “Ho Hey,” out of the way early in the set was a smart move, as it reminded many in the crowd of what band they were hearing. The Lumineers have hit the scene so quickly, and with their self-titled album hitting as high as No. 17 on the Billboard charts, the crowd is still catching up.
“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows,” sang lead singer Wesley Schultz, on a smart and timely cover of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” Despite the hometown advantage, and the obvious nod to the weather, it’s clear that the Lumineers have the wind at their back as they continue to build their success.
The setlist included “Charlie Boy,” “Slow it Down.” and a beautiful rendition of “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” by Talking Heads to close the show.
Allen Klosowski is the social media strategist for The Denver Post. Check out his photos online.
Brittany Moore is a Boulder-based photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb. Check out more of her work and her blog here.