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Cake at the Murat Theatre: A quality performance of Rock and Roll Music

A quality performance of Rock and Roll Music...but lacking in energy and balls.

I never got into Cake very heavily in the 90s, but I definitely remember them being around. They were one of those bands you couldn't avoid for a minute or two there. All that is to say: I've heard of 'em, I like a few of their songs, but I wouldn't shell out my hard earned scratch to watch them play. Which is precisely why, when my friend offered me her spare ticket for free, I gladly took it and went to the show.

Cake pretty much packed the Egyptian room of the Murat Theatre here in Indy, with what I'd say was about 2500 or so half-stoned, somewhat interested Cake fans. The most interested ones seemed to be way up close to the stage--naturally--where puffs of weed smoke could be seen wafting occasionally. Toward the middle and rear of the crowd, where I was, it seemed like most people came for the same reason I did: "Hey, it's Cake. Why not?"

I have to say they put on a quality show, although the whole thing lacked electricity. The songs were all really tight, and they put on a professional show, as might be expected after the 15 or so years these guys have been at it. They played two nearly hour-long sets, followed by a nice two song encore featuring "Short Skirt, Long Jacket" and one of their other big time hits, but I forget which one.

I'm not a big fan of the lead singer's controlled, street-intellectualism, or the ironic stiltedness of his voice. And his seemingly endless interlude in which he gave away a little nectarine tree made me want to scream in agony as he made fan, after fan, after fan try and guess the type of tree it was before awarding the tree to the winner.

However, based on the few cuts they played from their new album, I really think they might be headed in an interesting new direction: something a little smoother and more alternative. I figure I'll at least give it a try, even if I'm not going to go back and download their entire discography (or even Google the name of the lead singer).

But it all comes down to ENERGY, in my opinion. It's been proven that I'm a caveman when it comes to Rock and Roll. I like it loud, fast, and heavy. I like having my face burned off with guitar riffs and my eardrums rattled with bass. So, while it's not like I don't appreciate a good, well-wrought performance, I never really got excited about Cake, and I didn't come away from last night's show with any real change of heart.

That said...thanks for the tickets...and you know who you are.


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