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Monday, March 02, 2015

Show Review: Cathedrals @ The Independent

Cathedrals band San Francisco Brodie Jenkins and Johnny Hwin

Show Review:
Cathedrals @ The Independent
San Francisco, CA.
Part of the Noise Pop Festival

  First time at any event tied to the Noise Pop Festival.  I would have thought some band that I worked with would have played there by now but no never.  Instead, my current squeeze is working with Cathedrals, and I'm from the Bay Area, so I jumped at the opportunity to see their sold-out Saturday night headlining set at the Independent.  Cathedrals are based out of SF, the core membership is a duo, Johnny and Brodie.  They work in the space between electro pop and the various sub genres that have spun out of electro pop, their initial break out song OOO-aaa sounds like a take on witch house, and some of their unreleased songs they performed on Saturday night went all the way to top 40/90s rhythm and blues territory.

  Cathedrals has only recently begun performing live, utilizing a four person set up, with Johnny playing guitar, Brodie singing and doing some pedal work from her mic stand and then a drummer and synth/trigger/bassist rounding out the group.  They easily held down the 500+ capacity Independent, aided by the enthusiastic local crowd and competent light and sound work from the venue.  Even if you aren't a fan of electro pop, it's impossible to deny the talent and professionalism of Cathedrals.   All four members were engaged with the audience, and Brodie worked the stage like someone with years of performance experience.

  The hour long headlining set was strong from start to finish, with no loss of Audience attention and a well received two song encore.  Considering this is a "local" band for SF and their first headlining performance (and tenth performance overall)  it's impossible not to be impressed.  They are already well beyond where other successful bands I've watched come up were at similar stages in their career, and Cathedrals look to be poised to make a legitimate assault on national alt-rock radio (certainly alt rock specialty) even before they've inked a record deal.

  Not only do they have a hit already out (ooo-aaa), I heard multiple unreleased songs last night that have the potential to reach beyond the alt rock ghetto into the wonderland of adult contemporary, the true Holy Grail for electro pop artists (see the Passion Pit single took a walk for a similar example.)  Cathedrals will be playing SXSW and then coming back to Southern California to play the Getty Museum and probably the Loft at UCSD later this spring, so if you are the type who likes to say "I saw Vampire Weekend play at the Casbah," you'll want to get on that.

   Watching a band like Cathedrals made me sad for other indie bands who are just kind of flailing around looking for something.  Cathedrals have something, know what that something is, and have managed to successfully capture the attention of the Audience for that something.  Success is bound to follow.  And Brodie Jenkins is not related to the singer from Third Eye Blind.  Oh and only 300 copies of the vinyl were produced and they are still floating around out there- so if you are reading this and see a copy grab that shit.

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