Wild Cub

February 24, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

It’s always a bit awkward when a band plays a new song in the middle of a high-energy set. Everyone has (presumably) been singing and dancing along, when suddenly nobody knows the lyrics, the beat, or any part of what comes next. So amplify the awkwardness by 100, because I am new to Wild Cub. Prior to the sold out show at Johnny Brenda’s on Friday night, I had only heard their debut album, Youth, twice. Once upon release, and once again the night before the show. I like it. A lot. After seeing them live, I like it even more.

I say that with mixed feelings. They sounded great. They were friendly, personable and funny. Ringleader Keegan DeWitt recalled early in the evening about the paltry attendance at their first Philly show and swearing they would never come back. But this capacity audience welcomed them with open arms. They tore through the songs from their album with ferocity and glee, and it was all eaten up. But I felt like something was missing. They are talented musicians, but the live act seemed to be lacking that little something to separate them from the pack. There was a lot of fire, but I couldn’t find the spark. Couldn’t see where it was all coming from.

Maybe I’m the one that was broken. Maybe my lack of knowledge, or faith, or camaraderie with the band meant that I wasn’t seeing this all from the right angle. So I spent the ride home listening to the album again. It’s a great album, even if it does borrow heavily from a multitude of sources. It’s fun and I can hear that they were having fun, and I had fun listening. I hope the next time we meet that I can feel that energy, know the words, know the beat, and see what drives them to do this. What drives them to come back to a town that they had written off, to try again and succeed when they very well could have faded in to obscurity. Until next time…


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