It was a short but sweet night filled with diversity, beauty, and gorgeous weather. When I heard Whores and dälek were opening for Cult of Luna at Corona Theatre, I did a little research and discovered dälek is an experimental hip hop group from Jersey, and Whores. is a noise rock band from Georgia. How amazing is this? I love the kind of tours where every band is a completely new feeling.
As a big fan of experimental hip hop, I was very excited to check out dälek. They consisted of three members; a rapper, a DJ, and producer. The amazing thing about them was they clearly were playing everything 100% live. All the beats were being made on the spot and I always admired that; I always have mad respect for any artist who can work their magic beats that way. The aggression and darkness that came out of this performance got the crowd intrigued with quite a few bobbing heads. The only small critique I have was MC dälek was not very interactive with the crowd. There were times, where the beat got really aggressive, and a small interaction with the crowd to get us going would have been fun. He was also quite still but you can tell he was really feeling the music. Overall, however, I am a new fan and really dug their performance.
Next up was Atlanta, Georgia’s Whores.. A band whose album Gold was on the top twenty albums of 2016 according to Rolling Stone. Due to their name, and their look, I was admittedly thinking dirty thoughts, but all that aside, I could barely see them because the lighting was, well, barely there! I enjoy a good Cult of Luna show in the dark like any other fan, but a band like this needs more light. Vocalist Christian Lembach made a small speech at the beginning of their set explaining how they have shitty luck when playing in Montreal. The last time they were supposed to play here, they were declined because members of the Montreal Arts Community felt their name was “sexist and violent.” Man, is there anything else we can possibly be offended about?
In any case, I was so happy they managed to play this time, however, Lembach was facing an injury from the night before so he performed sitting down most of the time. That didn’t stop him from killing it, though. Whores. is definitely a noise rock band comparable to Cancer Bats vs Red Fang. They still completely have their own sound. Unlike the first act, they swayed all over the stage and, though Lembach was sitting, he still gave it his all. Not to mention, I almost thought drummer Donnie Adkinson was going to break some drum sticks he was hitting so hard. At the end, Lembach rose and the crowd cheered. Props to him for toughing this out! These guys are musical whores.
With my excitement building more and more, it was finally time for Cult of Luna. Only this time, with the incredibly talented Julie Christmas. Now, I cheated and watched some live videos prior to this performance so I had an idea how insane Christmas is on stage, but this completely blew my mind. The lights went off, and some ambient music started. I have seen this band perform as a ten-piece before, but this time Cult of Luna only had one drummer and less members. Julie Christmas’ powerful voice counted as eight instruments anyway. Yes, that is an exaggeration, but really, her voice brought tears to my eyes. I was nervous hearing her but she completely delivered.
The band performed Mariner in order, another album listed on Rolling Stone’s top 20 albums of 2016. This was on my top of 2016 as well but Rolling Stone is more important. The light show, the sound, and the band’s performance overall was a beautiful thing to watch. Most of the crowd was completely mesmerized, as was I. I tend to get in a meditative bubble when watching this band and that night was no different. There are only a hand full of bands I would see over and over and this is one of them.
Hope to see you again soon, Cult of Luna!
Written by Liz Imperiale
Photography by Eric Brisson Photography
*edited by Danielle Kenedy