The Cult Concert Review


Show Date: November 29, 2007
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
Venue: The Pageant
Reviewer: Graham LaMontagne
Band Website:

Typically, one should stay away from cults because they feature brainwashing and toxic Kool Aid. However, unlike Scientology, the superb rock group The Cult is one cult actually worthy of idol worship.

On Thursday night at The Pageant, The Cult, who is headlining the current Jagermeister Tour, proved that they not only sound exactly the same as they did in 1985, but that they have perfected true rock n’ roll, which will without a doubt enable them to continue their already legendary career indefinitely.

For the past few years The Cult has been dormant while Ian Astbury enjoyed filling in for Jim Morrison as lead singer of The Doors. I was fortunate enough to catch the The Doors of The 21st Century at Tinley Park in 2004 where I witnessed a once in a lifetime opportunity. Ian, Robby and Ray were so remarkable it literally scared me. I thought to myself, “If they are this good now, what were they like in their prime?” Ian left The Doors because he felt that “the world needs The Cult” – and we do, especially given the current state of rock and roll (I’m talking about lackluster acts like Nickelback).

The Cult is out of hibernation and better than ever with their new album Born Into This, and every song on the album is pure Cult. On the new album that distinct Astbury voice, who I rank as one of my top 10 vocalist of all time, sounds rejuvenated and as usual perfectly complements Billy Duffy‘s elegantly heavy guitar style. Born Into This sounded amazing in my stereo, and was just as powerful live as the Cult classics we all know and love.

The Cult opened red hot with “Nirvana”, “Electric Ocean” and “Lil’ Devil”, and remained on fire the entire show. Ian‘s rhythmic dancing proved to be infectious among the crowd and it was impossible not to join in the fun. I felt like Robert Downey Jr. dancing to “Lil’ Devil” in the film “Less Than Zero,” however, in the movie Downey‘s dance was fueled by drugs, but I was simply high on The Cult. Also, the crowd was very lucky the sprinkler system did not activate, because Astbury looked like a Shaman doing a rain dance most of the night. The tambourine is often thought of as a lethargic instrument due to artists like Linda McCartney (Wings) just standing on stage banging away like a robot. However, Astbury makes playing the tambourine look just as cool as Duffy shredding on guitar.

The best thing about The Cult is that with their unique sound you get a little bit of everything. One second I’m completely mesmerized by how beautiful my favorite Cult song “Revolution” sounds, and the next second I’m banging my head away faster than a bobble head to the furious riff of “Rise”. On a side note, a complete moron threw ice at Astbury during “Rise”, but rather than stopping the show ala Axl Rose, Astbury kept a cool head and pointed to the misfit to watch himself. Only a colossal clown shoe would come to a concert and throw items at their idols.

During the set, my buddy turned to me and excitedly yelled, “Now that’s rock and roll.”

Pure and simple the above quote perfectly describes The Cult. “She Sells Sanctuary”, “Love Removal Machine”, “Born Into This”, “Dirty Little Rockstar”, “I Assassin”, “Firewoman” and “Wild Flower” rounded out an unbelievably rocking concert. The Cult‘s refusal to retire and their ability to put out such a fantastic new album truly sets the rock and roll bar for the future.

Astbury took time to comment on the current state of rock and explained that his band was beginning to get noticed once again in the industry. He urged young bands to try harder because you cannot simply grow long hair and a shaggy beard and be rock and roll – it takes much more. Astbury continued to address what’s wrong with music today by bluntly yelling “F*%k American Idol” during the performance (perhaps the funniest thing ever to come out of a frontman’s mouth). That type of humor made the show very entertaining and Duffy even chimed a few times and made a very amusing joke by explaining a backstage party in the basement with The Cult would be much more fun than hanging out in John Wayne Gacy‘s basement.

The only grievance I have with the show is that it could have been much longer and I would have liked to hear “Sweet Soul Sister”. However, the hour and twenty minute show was so continuously energetic and fun that if it would have been any longer my head may have exploded from a pleasure overload.

To say The Cult is phenomenal would be an understatement.

P.S. You know how people are lucky if they catch one guitar pick? Well, I scrambled around on my hands and knees in beer and sweat and caught 4, yes count’em 4, Billy Duffy guitar picks, which I shared with my friends.