It quit raining yesterday for a fairly large window of time, just long enough for me to easily make my way to the Granada for a night of dancing induced by electronic music, keyboards, saxophones and a desire for 80s nostalgia. That’s despite the fact most in attendance didn’t exist in the 1980s.
Maybe it’s just me, but the break in the rain instilled a noticeable clarity to the night. This particular weather was much-needed, like extra Cut Copy tickets.
The Australian electronic pop band Cut Copy made Dallas their seventh stop on a North American tour. It was a sold out show, and I was there to mindfully people watch and above all, dance.
When I go to any musical event with the intention of dancing, I don’t play. I quickly make my way to the very front without a single snarl from invading someone’s personal space. I catch the tail-end of fellow Australian act, Nile Delta, who Cut Copy hand-picked to tour with them. We warm up with LA’s Classixx.
It’s just a little after ten, when the crowd perks up as guitarist Tim Hoey, bassist Ben Browning and drummer Mitchell Scott roll onstage, with front man Dan Whitford trailing behind, provoking a roar of voices that welcome the musician and get the audience’s unified attention. People noticeably hold onto their drinks a little tighter.
The intro to “We Are Explorers” drifts out of the speakers as the lights remain low until the bass kicks in. My hips wake up as I begin to naturally but rhythmically twitch.
Then, Free Your Mind, the title of the band’s most recent album, appears like an answer to a magic 8 ball question as it projects behind the band, along with songs from their discography, including a throwback to 2004’s Bright Like Neon Love with “Saturdays.”
It seemed like the crowd was just waiting for a glimmer of 2008’s “In Ghost Colours” to audibly materialize when “Hearts on Fire” started, and people began cheering once again. For those five minutes, I got the dance party I wanted.
Whitford’s dancing is contagious as he walks up to each side of the stage seeking a reaction. In the front section, not a single soul’s feet are planted to the ground although some folks merely sway.
My fixation is with guitarist Tim Hoey, who might have had a deeper effect on me this time than singer Whitford. His ominous presence struck a nerve, and I opted to watch his symbiotic relationship between his bandmates, crowd and guitar.
To be fair, all four Australian musicians noticeably reciprocate the energy of the Dallas crowd, which is peppered with American flag merchandise, due to the USA’s World Cup tie against Portugal (for those who are as socially aware as Rip Van Winkle).
One more song from Secret Colours made it to the set list with “Lights & Music” amping the crowd up one more time on nostalgia before ending their set. I was covered in sweat, as was most of the crowd, and a little bummed as always when the music fizzles and the band exits the stage.
At first, everyone began to chant, Cut Copy, Cut Copy. Within seconds you could hear a muzzled Encore, Encore from all sides of the stage. Finally, the inevitable: USA, USA. I I feel mildly embarrassed for everyone as one by one the band returns, smirking.
“Nobody Lost” followed by “Need You Now” make up the encore.
As the crowd began to wither, I was bartered the set list by a Serenity security member interested in where I bought my shirt. As I fish it out of my bag, it’s met with the camera clicks of fans treating it as if it were the president’s birth certificate.
When I finally make it home at the end of the night, it begins to rain again. I realized that Cut Copy hadn’t utilized the Granada’s giant side projectors for as crazy a spectacle as I’d seen before from other bands. I wondered if I really cared.
The point is that the band didn’t need to utilize anything—they didn’t need to extend more than what they offered. The clarity I felt from the sky clearing up mirrored how easily the band was able to please a sold-out crowd.
All photos by Desiree Espada.