I’ve seen The Cult live about five times in the last fifteen years and this was the best they’ve ever sounded. The Astbury-Duffy team has looked a bit more fighting fit in previous outings but heck, they must be pushing 50 these days. And let’s face it, none of us look like we did 15 years ago. But enough of the image, The Cult was clearly in Prague to ROCK.
And rock they did. For a lightning paced 90 minutes, the band tore through a set that included highlights from the majority of their albums (with special emphasis on Love and Electric) and even one new song. It sounds trite, but they played this show like it could be their last. Heck, maybe that’s because they thought it was. Ever the showman, Ian Astbury riffed between songs about Western Europe liking cocaine and Eastern Europe liking poetry (punctuating the sentence with a sniff). Shortly after that, he spoke of being in Czechoslovakia. So, yeah, maybe he expected the StB to come kicking down the doors and have him thrown in the slammer for excessive fist-pumping rock shamanism or something.
Either way, the show was incredible. The band was tight and for this body pushing 40, the length of the set was just about right. My t-shirt was sweat-soaked by the end of the set, my throat is pretty raw this morning and my shoulder is sore from an hour-and-a-half of throwing my fist in the air with rock and roll horns raised. I’d say everyone there was pretty blown away, too. The roars from the crowd fed the band. At one point after a particularly raucous reaction from the crowd, Astbury proclaimed, “I think we like it here.”
Welcome to Czechoslovakia, Mr. Astbury.