Cloud Nothings @ Cargo, 9/05/12
May 17, 2012 by Tshepo Mokoena
“We’re a band called Cloud Nothings from America”, begins lead singer Dylan Baldi before he and his three peers launch into a ridiculously energetic set that tears Cargo apart. So much so, in fact, that it blows the power in the venue. But more on that later. For now, it’s all about squeezing into the gig room amidst the biggest collection of beanie- and skinny-jean wearing fanboys eager for a taste of Cloud Nothings’ heavy, garage pop.
The Cleveland four-piece waste little time setting up, and after a quick swig of Jack Daniels, they crash into the opening song, Attack On Memory‘s ‘Stay Useless’. It’s clear from the first chorus that these guys have earned their stripes as a live act. In an environment of ever-growing numbers of bands playing gigs with only a handful of songs to their name which they’ve perhaps played through three or four times, the fortitude of Cloud Nothings’ hard graft shines in this show.
Their songs already deliver the meaty, punch-to-the-gut raucousness of this type of shambolic rock on record, but a raw dimension is added in the live experience. They aren’t a particularly chatty band with the crowd, but glances exchanged with one another – those sublte nods and smiles from hours of practice together – keep the performance lively. Well, that and the fact that drummer Jayson Gerycz is smashing his way through the set and playing with an electric torrent of energy that looks potentially hazardous.
We’re treated to a 15-minute rendition of ‘Wasted Days’, building and shrieking to crescendo after they toy with us and their guitar strings for ages. And then suddenly, after ‘No Sentiment’, the power goes. Well, it sort of goes: somehow one guitar’s still amplified but we’ve lost the bass, vocals and mic’d drums. In a show of punk heroism, they play on largely undeterred. The crowd of fratboy fist-pumpers at the front bellow out the lyrics to ‘No Future/No Past’ as Dylan smiles out at us, and they play a shortened set for another two songs.
And just in case you were wondering, none of the tech staff at Cargo seemed on-hand to deal with the power failure. Lucky for us Cloud Nothings are a good enough band to pull off the show anyway, leaving most people smiling as the show ends earlier than planned.