Gig Review: Cloud Control @ The Corner Hotel, 1st October

Last Friday night was no less than my seventh time seeing Cloud Control live, so it’s safe to say that there were few surprises. However there’s a good reason they’re my most seen live band, and they put on a show that demonstrated this perfectly.

There were some quality opening acts on the bill, especially Deep Sea Arcade, however I unfortunately missed them, as well as the majority of second openers Seekae, who sounded cool from what I did hear. There was no doubt who the sold out crowd was there to see however, and people congregated around the stage as the headline slot neared.

Luckily I was able to secure a pretty good spot a couple of rows from the front, and settled in for what would be one of my favourite Cloud Control sets to date.

Tried and tested opener Meditation Song #2 (Why, Oh Why) played its role perfectly once again, getting the sizable crowd warmed up. I don’t think any Cloud Control crowd will ever be able to compare to their Splendour performance, where thousands of people actually started moshing to many songs such was the excitement and atmosphere, but this one was right up there.

Vintage Books made an early set appearance, and it is great to see that the band haven’t forgotten about fan favourite songs, despite having left the track off their wonderful debut album ‘Bliss Release’. The hits from this album were also dutifully played, one of my favourites of which was My Fear #2.

There can be no doubt that Cloud Control are at their strongest with a trademark ‘jangly’ guitar riff spearheading their sound, but they are also multi-dimensional and very talented, especially as a live act. Beast Of Love demonstrated this perfectly, as Heidi took over lead vocals to spectacular effect.

This combined with Hollow Drums provided for a more subdued atmosphere in the middle of the set, but the crowd were given another excuse to dance and sing with the duo of older fan favourites in the form of Death Cloud and Buffalo Country. They are both just wonderful songs, and the latter in particular saw pretty much all of the crowd moving around, hands in the air, singing along loudly and proudly to every single word. It really was a great atmosphere.

The one discrepancy between Cloud Control setlists seems to be the placement of There’s Nothing In The Water We Can’t Fight, my favourite track off their debut album. For this show, the band decided to play it as a closer for their main set, and it worked perfectly, seeing the energy both onstage and off reach an all new high as Al’s vocals were temporarily drowned out by hundreds of screaming voices.

Cloud Control were far from done however, and returned for a really rather spectacular three song encore. Their cover of Kid Cudi’s Pursuit Of Happiness was amazing, and it was surprising how many words to the song  I inherently knew, having only really heard it as this cover a couple of times. It was just such an infectious and fun song that it was impossible not to get involved from the crowd.

Gold Canary of course made an appearance, and it was predictably great. The track just oozes cool, and the band pull it off very nicely indeed live even with the intricate backing vocals. Ghost Story provided the perfect closer to the set. I can remember the first time I heard it, at a Cloud Control gig well before the guys recorded it for their album, and I knew straight away that it was going to be one of my favourite Cloud Control tracks. It hasn’t lost any of its appeal with time.

I’d be lying if I said that after seeing a band this many times live their gigs don’t gain some sense of familiarity. However with Cloud Control, they genuinely do seem to grow every time I see them, and not just in terms of their backcatalogue. It’s been an honour to watch them develop as a band, right from opening for Josh Pyke nearly two years ago with only a handful of songs under their belt, and they really do seem poised, with a Black Cabs Session under their belt, to hit it big internationally.

I can’t remember much banter, but I’m sure Al and co. were very appreciative of the extremely warm reception they received at the first of their three Melbourne shows on this tour. They have such fun with their live shows, and as an audience member it is just impossible not to get caught up in the energy. Friday night was the perfect example of this, and a really enjoyable gig.

And I’m already looking forward to number eight.

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