Majestic Theatre, 02/28/2019. Detroit’s Majestic Theatre recently welcomed an evening of genre-bending dark music to its stage, treating audiences to a trio of artists who blend synthpop, darkwave, industrial, electroclash, and dark pop in twisting litanies of mind-bending movement and melody. Danceable, but with an undercurrent of gleeful nihilism, all three bands presented the Motor City with a full night of incredible energy.
VOWWS, a duo known as Rizz and Matt, started things off Thursday night with their understated death pop, dread beats and cutting guitar over their somber, introspective lyrics. This is a pair who play their set straight, without too much decoration; their visual understatement, accented only by films projected behind them, creates a shadowy and enigmatic mien that flows ominously well with their catalogue. They don’t like to be pigeonholed into any single genre identification, and it shows – and their subdued strangeness is unusually inviting.
Detroit natives ADULT. followed, bursting onstage with what can best be described as an explosion of badassery accompanied by a discordant array of light and smoking fury, vocalist Nicola Kuperus a veritable livewire in lightning streaks across the foggy stage. Dynamic and electro-punk to its very core, ADULT. captures at its heart the spirit of the city itself, gnashing and pulsing its way through the hypnotic synths of Adam Lee Miller with both band members’ artwork accentuating their raw talent. Harnessing the spirit of artists like [:SITD:], Chicks On Speed, and even, oddly enough, Depeche Mode, they are a force to be reckoned with.
All photos courtesy of Jennifer Jeffery
Headliner Cold Cave, a project from LA writer Wesley Eisold and partner Amy Lee, whose origins are in metro-Detroit, dazzles with consummate melodies strung with Eisold’s poetry. Overwhelmed by billowing fog, backed with monochrome film and flashes of stark strobing light, Cold Cave hammers the line between love and death, nihilism and optimism. There is a quiet, proud sort of hope in their music, a clear testament to the palpable love that Eisold and Lee share – a connection that celebrates the strength of human compassion to win out in a world that is often very cold and indifferent. Personal sacrifice and suffering, and the ultimate power of empathy, are key themes for this pair and their fantastic backing band, marrying joy and sadness mixed with the sheer marvelous entertainment it is to dance to their songs. Cold Cave, together with VOWWS and ADULT., continue their tour into the month, and we encourage you to attend one of their shows if you happen to find them in a venue near you.