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Concert Photography, Concert Reviews, Music

Photos/Review: Cold War Kids, HIGHS @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

By: Daniel Melfi | Photos by: Amy Buck 

Cold War Kids. (Photo: Amy Buck/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

Cold War Kids. (Photo: Amy Buck/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

Last night, Long Beach, CA indie rockers Cold War Kids treated Toronto to a stellar performance.

Canadian alternative outfit HIGHS, who are well-known in the city for their CMW and NXNE performances, opened for the SoCal quintet, and warmed up the crowd with their energetic vocals during “Summer Dress”, and a slew of other tracks from their self-titled EP.

With Nathan Willet and co., Cold War Kids wasted no time in raising the tempo. Former Modest Mouse guitarist Dann Gallucci brought the groove with him, and it was never more apparent than during the riff of “Miracle Mile”, as the crowd sang and swayed with every note.

The show turned into a real bar-like sing-along when Willet began singing “We Used to Vacation”, the first track off their debut album, the entire crowd got nostalgic with the seductive riff and Willet’s dominating vocals. On the balcony above the crowd fans harmonically sang, “I promise to my wife and children …”

Hearing tracks like that, over a decade after they first filtered through the radio are a testament to the great sound that Cold War Kids have not only built but also maintained. Their perspective on past material is only positive, playing a hit-heavy set that was visually paired against a large backdrop – the album cover of their 2008 album Loyalty To Loyalty.

During the latter half of the set, they featured a segment of new tracks off their most recent album, Hold My Home (2014), which included fan favourite “Harold Bloom”, which featured a memorable jam session towards the end of the track by Matt Maust and Joe Plummer on bass and drums.

The final song of the night was another off their debut, “Saint John”, and what a closer it was. Everyone walked out with the chorus still reverberating through the venue, “Old Saint John on death row, he’s just waiting for a pardon…”

Cold War Kids



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