A cold and windy evening in Chicago is always a great reason to take shelter and spend time on an indoor activity. One of our favorite indoor pastimes, as you may already know, is to take in a good show at one of Chicago’s 341 music venues. It’s honestly quite an array of musical genres on any given evening. On this particular night, the trusty Shure mobile lead us to the Metro, where we planned to see Cults and their brand of indie rock at a sold out show with Mrs. Magician and Spectrals.
Walking into the Metro is always a nostalgic treat, so many great rock shows took place there and it is the epitomy of the term “rock club.” I made my way up the stairs and caught the band setting up and preparing for a sound check. Jeff Neuberger, the band’s monitor engineer greeted me and walked me around the stage, pointing out all of the Shure gear responsible for Cults’ sound. On vocals, KSM9 was the favorite. Guitar cabinets were captured with SM57s. The drum kit featured Beta 52A and Beta 91A on kick and SM57 and Beta 181/C on snare. A Beta 52A was also the complement to the bass cabinet. Finally, the band took a mix from Jeff in monitor world through the PSM 900 personal monitor systems.
As the band ran through a few tunes and the lighting tech set the mood, I ran down to the legendary green room to set up for my interview with the band. In about an hour or so, the venue went quiet, letting me know that it would soon be time to sit down with Brian and Madeline and learn a little more about Cults. Looking back on it now, it was a pretty good conversation. We’ll be posting this soon, so stay tuned.
Leaving the band to their own devices, I met up with legendary photographer Paul Natkin for some dinner at Uncommon Ground, one of the sites for our National Open Mic Night. This place is always packed, but Paul knows everyone, so the 10 -15 minute wait turned into, “Please follow this gentlemen to your table.” This is a great place if you ever make it to Chicago, very organic and green-minded. The acoustic music that takes place there is pretty incredible, too. I have to make a note to show up in mid-November for the Jeff Buckley Tribute Show. I’m a big fan, but never got around to going. After listening to Paul talk about it, I’m making my plans already.
After milking our dinner time for every minute we could, we made our way back to the venue… two hours to show time and nothing to do but check out the opener and people watch.
Finally, 11 PM rolled around and Cults took the stage to a screaming crowd. It’s always interesting to see how a band is going to pull off certain elements of songs from their album, and I have to say, they pulled it off effortlessly. The sound on stage was a little more aggressive than the album, making it a little more lively for an onlooking crowd. All in all, a great show and a great band. I can’t wait to see what comes next from Cults. This evening also ended with a stop at White Castle.