1987 was an amazing year for rock albums. Landmark albums like “Appetite for Destruction”, “Slippery When Wet”, and “The Joshua Tree” were among those released. Literally dozens of classic albums were out that year. Many of which are still spun on a regular basis today. One of those many successful albums, The Cult’s “Electric” is being brought back to life this year on The Cult’s “Electric 13” tour. The band is playing the album in its entirety – minus the “Born to Be Wild” cover, which has been swapped out for a Cult original – and on Friday night they brought that tour to Boston, MA.
Right at 10:00pm, fashionably late as always with The Cult, the band hit the stage and began playing “Electric”. It’s one of those albums that pretty much transcend generations; there was a good mix of younger and older Cult fans at Boston’s House of Blues on Friday. The band breezed through the album set almost as quickly as the album’s original running time of 38 minutes.
Ian Astbury seemed to be all business for the “Electric” portion of the show, stopping only to thank the crowd for their applause. Once the set was done however, Astbury seemed to ease into the Ian most of us know, famous for his stage banter. He told the audience the band would be taking a short break and would come back to “stab you in the face” and then introduced a short art film that was played for the crowd while they waited.
Once the band returned they launched into a great career retrospective playing classics like “Sweet Soul Sister”, “Rain” and “She Sells Sanctuary” alongside modern Cult classics like “For The Animals, Rise, and Honey From a Knife”. They then left one more time, and returned for a brief final encore of two more classics, “Spiritwalker” and “Sun King”. The set as a whole, was a spectacular collection of songs from all eras of the band. One notable absence was the barn burning “Fire Woman” which has been cut from the set since the Electric 13 tour started.
Although the tour isn’t billed as a co-headline tour, opener White Hills certainly have a headline worthy performance. Getting an hour long set, instead of the typical 30 or 45 minute opening set, the band proved they were up to the task in style. Their psychedelic, ambient rock n roll, impressed many of the Cult fans in attendance. With a plethora of songs to choose from in their catalog, the band had no time making the best of their long opening set. If you’re not familiar with them, they have put out around 10 albums since 2005 alone, often releasing music on multiple labels at once.
Their most recent release, through Thrill Jockey Records, is entitled "So You Are, So You’ll Be". The band sampled a few tracks from it on Friday and they sounded excellent. The atmosphere created by the band and their stage production was a real treat, White Hills impressed those in attendance who didn’t know them, as evidenced by the dozens of fans lining up at their merch table to meet them.