2/15/2014 – Brighton Music Hall

Though the purple and blue strobe lights Wild Cub brought along with them didn’t seem to match the beat of the music, the extra gear seemed like a smart move. After all, the younger crowd — a media-crazed YouTube generation — probably expected exciting visuals. But, much like the added light show, most of the show was hyped-up filler for the real star of the night: their hit single, “Thunder Clatter”.

“Our van broke down yesterday, but we love Boston. The snow can go fuck itself.” said Singer Keegan Dewitt. He was the energy of the show, beating strange maracas against his chest and smashing rhythms onto drums. Yet the energy only carried over to a few head-banging individuals in the crowd. At one point, DeWitt called out someone from the crowd and thanked them for their well-written review, but this human factor started seeping its way into the show was a bit too late. The band’s repertoire stuck strictly to their album, save for a brilliant Lykke Li “I Follow Rivers” cover, which had a rougher rock spin.

“I wrote this song the day that I met my wife,” DeWitt remarked before the band exploded into “Thunder Clatter.” There was the energy; there was the heart. Peeking from behind the curtains of the green room above, his wife looked down, smiling and watching as DeWitt pounded the middle of his chest with his fist, belting, “I hear it all in the center of my heart / You’re the love of my life, the love of my life.”

“This is our last song. We literally know only one more song.” said Dewitt. They broke out into “Summer Fires/Hidden Spells” and whipped out the cowbell, winning a few laughs from the crowd. The audience broke out into applause, but the band left the stage without playing an encore.

To me, it makes sense why “Thunder Clatter” is the only song that’s been propelled to fame. From the concert it appeared it was the only song in Wild Cub’s catalogue with a real story behind it. Commentary about the material was sparse, as if the other songs had been put together in a rushed scramble once the single became a hit. One thing seemed clear on Saturday night — the band had constructed a collection of tracks that was missing the driving pulse and heartfelt emotion that they poured into “Thunder Clatter,” the rest seemed an empty Frankenstein of sorts. But at the same time, the potential is there – the fantastic interpretation of “I Follow Rivers” and scattered bursts of energetic jamming attest to that.

Thunder Clatter and Pitter Patter: Wild Cub
Pros
  • Extremely energetic
  • Brought their own light equipment for an extra pop
Cons
  • Limited themselves mostly to their one album
  • Authentic audience interaction came late
5.4Overall Score

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