Cold Cave/Austra/Cult of Youth @ Bowery Ballroom 8.6.11

Photo by Dominick Mastrangelo via BrooklynVegan

We constantly dream how it would've been to see the likes of Depeche Mode, Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees, Joy Division, New Order, Bauhaus and the Cure when they were young, inciting new wave dancey parties live in clubs and special to small group of romantic, dark and lonely weirdos. Literally babies then, we missed the boat and have been looking for the new wave dance party of our dreams ever since this music came into our line of hearing. Once upon a time, we had it in The Faint but their absence has left us thirsty. On this particular Saturday night libations flowed for what seemed forever with Austra and Cold Cave and we drank furiously.

Among the gays, girls, goths and everything inside and between, we stood on the floor, coming in during the last of Cult of Youth's loud yelps and fiddledidoos. Our brains were programmed for danceable electronics on this night so we dismissed them and their lack thereof accordingly. We soon fell out of attack mode with Austra's appearance -- or rather performance.

The band -- with the exception of harness booted keyboardist Ryan Wosniak -- walked on stage looking like the ultimate hipster caricatures. As it was the last day of tour, they threw together the last random bits of clothing they had left into less than stellar outfits. While their wardrobe choices were questionable, they hit the mark where it counts the most, musically. Singer Kate Stelmanis' has cemented herself as unique voice in indie with her fragile coos. In combination with the voices of Sari and Romy Lightman, the ladies sound like a chorus of wounded birds singing themselves into oblivion, tragic yet beautiful.

Bassist Dorian Wolf and drummer Maya Postepski add a new and welcome oomph to the set electro beats of the better songs off the Canadian band's debut Feel It Break. "Darken Her Horse," "Lose It" "Spellwork," "The Villain," and "Beat and the Pulse." Some may say "Lose It" is the single that made them but I offer up the sonically perfect and instantly contagious "Beat and The Pulse." You have to be soulless to not move to this joint.

In addition to the familar, they performed two songs we'd never heard, "Young and Gay" from the Beat and the Pulse EP and the unreleased "Habitat" our ears and feet quickly embraced them both happily.

At the end of their set, we had a decision to make: to stay or not to stay. Aside from a quick listen to Cherish the Light Years days before the show, we knew nothing of Cold Cave except that there was the potential danceyness to ensue. In the ever-present spirit of no regret, we vowed to stay on hopes of having a great time and if shit got boring, we'd leave and get some bubble tea at Just Sweet.

As usual we can't plan anything because it always ends up out window. Cold Cave had us the second they hit the stage after the shortest wait in between bands known to us. Into the darkness came drummer Alex Garcia-Rivera, singer Wes Einsold and synthesizer-er Ian Dominick Fernow, the latter two wearing the best leather jackets we'd ever laid our unworthy eyes on. Einsold intiated the set with a throwing of sunflowers into the crowd of which we were two of the lucky recipients. Then the music hit us.

It came in like the firestorm of Sarah Connor's dream, blowing away every layer of human leaving only our bare bones intact holding onto the lip of the stage. Two songs in and I thought we'd found our new The Faint. This was new wave party we've been dying to attend -- only we thought more people would be dancing instead of standing around oogling at the stage. We did our thing as hard as we could but it was nothing close to Fernow's moves. He thrashed about the stage, his body with no choice but to exorcise the abundance of energy and anguish and angst in this way. It was focan inspiring.

The band proved their worth and our brain signaled GET $5 DOLLAR BAND SHIRTS NOW! and during a slow jam we gave up front spots to venture out to the merch table and get what we wanted -- well, "needed" at this point. Unfortunately, the merch dude was away and would be back after their set so we went back inside danced to the encore in the back where the sound was better but it hurt to watch so many people not moving.

The second Wes uttered "This is our last song," we timed it so we'd head down toward the middle of it. We got our stuff and left, their hour long set leaving us enough time to still make it to Just Sweet for a bubble tea fix. Sipping on our iced teas with lychee jelly in awe of the night's happenings, we thanked the sons and daughters of 80s new wave for giving us something new to dance to.

Setlist and pics over at BrooklynVegan


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