Lights and Music: Holy Ghost! And Cut Copy
As part of a multinational tour promoting their new album ‘Zonoscope’, Australia’s electro-pop conglomerate Cut Copy has been on tear in cities across America bringing their rendition of a retro style of dance music reshaped to those still seeking a vocal and indie contribution. For nearly a decade, Cut Copy has been gaining recognition around the world as their catchy tunes have been played in clubs across Europe and featured in the play-lists of nearly all electro-savvy folk. To make this anticipated concert even more juicy was the addition of Holy Ghost! to open the event for some select dates. Saturday in New Orleans was one of these occasions; where two premiere bands continued to help the establishment of a newer and broader genre, and scene of modern-yet-retro live music.
The Republic in the CBD of New Orleans hosted the show, and it was presented by Winter Circle Productions. The show boasted a sold out crowd, as the lines were a bit grueling for the dedicated disco fans ready to get down. Inside the show, besides the myriad of beautiful people, the production featured loads of speakers and lights, so much so where it almost seemed like a struggle to find space on stage for the musicians and their instruments. However, none of this affected the evening that was surely one to remember.
Coming from the fine folks at DFA records, who also support the likes of LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip, Holy Ghost! is in the right company for propelling their live nu-disco group to much bigger ventures. In their self titled debut album, Holy Ghost! explores and defies what disco is and what it will be in the future. As the general trend of electronic music naturally drifts across the pond from the UK to the USA, the club scene, which has been so vibrant, is seeing a presence of Disco inspired DJs which is finally taking wind across the US. DFA and Holy Ghost! are definitely aiding in the facilitation of this genre.
After fine-tuning their project over the past few years, Holy Ghost! has released a self titled album featuring their already known hits ‘Hold On’ and ‘I Will Come Back’ as well as some new tunes that are a good indication that you will be hearing a lot more from these guys. The opening set was nothing to sleep on as everyone was ready to shake from the start. Holy Ghost! played a well paced dance set with great vocals and even installations of iPads to help aid their electronic influence. Although Holy Ghost! is playing current music, you can help but feel a disco vibe throughout the whole performance where everyone is dancing and communicating through a mellow and intimate ambiance.
Cut Copy started as a DJ project, with leader and band originator Dan Whitford creating synth heavy, 70s-inspired tunes with an indie type sensuality. That sound eventually culminated in the project’s first full band album, ‘Bright Like Neon Love’. Since then, Cut Copy has been gradually paying their dues playing alongside world famed electronic musicians and producers like Daft Punk and The Presets. Then came perhaps their most accomplished album, ‘In Ghost Colours’. The outing is easily their most fine tuned, and emblematic album. ‘In Ghost Colours’ is a perfect representation of how fluid this group can be with its perfectly layered guitar and synth riffs. Following the success of In Ghost Colours, Cut Copy’s newly released album, Zonoscope, continues the trend of ripping dance music from a complete band on the brink of more success.
The most impressive part of Cut Copy’s performance was easily the band’s showmanship. Each song played not only followed the cadence one might find in a solid album, but the quality and precision of a live reproduction was superb. There was no space for lulls or mishaps in this show, just get-down dancing the whole set. Playing a variety of tunes from a range of their discography, the Republic was explosive with a sold out crowd vigorously screaming and dancing.
The high point of the night from an evening complete with memorable tunes was the band’s single ‘Lights and Music’. Being a fan favorite and more popular song, nearly everyone was singing along and emitting this energy that translated simply into a massive dance party.
Separately, both Holy Ghost! and Cut Copy are examples of acts you should not miss, be it at a festival or when they swing through your town. To have the opportunity to see a show where the opener and headliner so fluidly are paired together makes for a memorable experience and those concerts that we all love to go to – the ones where you dance with friends to good music.
By Danny Goodman