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Cut Copy, The Presets

| September 25, 2008

Cut Copy, The Presets
Metro, Chicago
Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Despite the fact The Presets weren’t so much openers for as they were co-headliners alongside Cut Copy last Wednesday night at the Metro, the group nonetheless preceded the evening’s final act. As such, there are customary roles to be acted out during the build into the bill’s closing feature, not the least of which include warming up the crowd, creating a general sense of excitement.

Unfortunately, such was not the case with The Presets’ performance, which saw the group take every opportunity to veer away from producing any energy for Cut Copy. Instead, the two-man outfit opted to reign heavy and hard upon the night’s crowd, delivering tense, stressful, neon-laden electro that only served to beat down the room.

Spread out against such weighty offerings as “Are You The One?,” “My People,” and a slew of other synth-driven material, all at once urgent and chaotic, the duo provided a set that was all punishing, electronic squeals and distortion-skwered effects. The group offered a brief reprieve by way of the more direct and catchy “This Boy’s In Love,” but such moments were a minority in a never-ending, over-bearing, and oppressive set.

Thankfully, all of Presets’ stress only served to further highlight the evening’s light, bright, easy set from Cut Copy. Miles away from Presets’ weight, the group delivered a show that felt like the aural equivalent of a private rooftop pool party overlooking Los Angeles at night — that, and so much New Order influence it isn’t funny. Markedly stress-free, the four-man piece breezed through a set of soaring, synth-dipped selections from their albums In Ghost Colours and Bright Like Neon Love.

Moments like “Time Stands Still,” “Far Away,” and “Strangers In the Wind” all delivered on the night’s promise of escapist dance-floor fare, the latter of which summed up the evening by remarking “you could stay for what you came here for/a daze is what you’re falling for.” It’s just too bad the evening’s introductory act couldn’t share in such a vibe.

Jaime de’Medici

Category: Live Reviews, Weekly

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