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Pop duo Cults ends hiatus with San Diego show

Photo by Petey Dyer

Photo by Petey Dyer

by Tashfina Rahman, Staff Writer

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After a hiatus from making music, indie pop duo Cults released a new album, “The Offering,” on Oct. 4 and have set out on an international tour.

Following the two openers Curls and The Willowz, Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion, the two founding members of Cults, took the stage in their hometown at North Park’s famous church-turned-venue The Irenic to play an intimate show on Nov. 4.

The excitement surrounding Cults’ return to music could be felt in the packed venue as Follin and Oblivion took the stage, jumping right into their set beginning with the title track, “Offering,” off of their new album.

While Follin and Oblivion are the original members of Cults, they have a live band accompany them during  shows, consisting of guitarist Gabriel Rodriguez, bassist Max Kamins and drummer Marc Deriso. The addition of the live band give their shows a much heavier rock sound that most fans wouldn’t expect, in opposition to their recorded music which stays true to their pop roots.

After their first song, Oblivion told the crowd from behind his keyboard how excited they were to be playing a show back where it all began.

“This show is so special to us because we’re back in the place where we all started,” Oblivion said. “Even though we started the band while in New York, we’re all originally from San Diego and we love being able to come back.”

Fans seemed to love this piece of information as they all cheered when Follin commented, “I’m basically from everywhere, Chula Vista and up.”

“It’s great to support a band who has local roots,” San Diego native and self-proclaimed music enthusiast Christian Aguilar said. “I was really excited to see them because they were one of the first indie bands I listened to and now I’m even happier because I didn’t know they were from San Diego.”

While some bands seem to avoid interacting too much with their fans, Follin made it a point to talk to fans during the show and made it especially memorable for one couple in the crowd.

After playing “Abducted” off of their 2011 debut album “Static,” Follin called a woman and her boyfriend to the stage so she could wish him a happy birthday. Upon getting on stage, the woman dropped down on one knee to the surprise of her boyfriend, the band and the crowd.

“Jesus, I’ve always loved you,” the woman said. “Will you marry me?”

The entire crowd, along with lead singer Follin, screamed and clapped following the surprise proposal. It was clear how much the band enjoys connecting with their fans when Follin excitedly suggested that the couple have their first dance along stage with the band, to their hit love song,“ Always and Forever.”

The couple embraced each other on stage and danced while the crowd shouted, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!”

While the crowd barely swayed to the slow instrumentals of opening band, Curls, the energy had transformed during Cults’ exciting performance. The crowd jumped around in unison with Follin as she danced, performing one of their new singles, “I Took Your Picture.”

“It’s awesome being at a concert where you can tell the band is super into it,” political science junior Sydney Cohen said. “Their energy kind of fed into the crowd and it kind of turned into a big dance party.”

While Cults made an effort to showcase their new material, they breathed life into their old classics such as High Road from  2013’s “Static” and “You Know What I Mean,” from 2011’s self-titled debut album.

The band took a brief recess before playing an encore and finishing with their most successful and highly anticipated song of the night, “Go Outside.” It seemed as though everyone in the room sang along to the hit and the band seemed to enjoy reminiscing with their first single which put their debut album on the charts.

While the band may have taken a four-year long break from making music, the excitement of the band and equally excited reaction of longtime fans may be a sign that Cults are back and ready to  make another lasting impact on the world of indie music.

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