Miko Malabute | Sunday, February 17, 2013
Cloud Nothings, an indie-rock group consisting of singer-songwriter Dylan Baldi, drummer Jason Gerycz, guitarist Joe Boyer and bassist TJ Duke took to the stage at Legends this past Friday.
Cloud Nothings entered their performance with no introduction, no acknowledgment of the audience whatsoever, in a fashion that I mistook as enigmatic and possibly exciting.
This style of “let’s-just-rock-and-roll” with no interaction with the crowd seemed to be a point of focus for Cloud Nothings, as it continued on after the first song, then after the second, then after the third.
Soon enough I began to wonder if they would ever address us. However, they just jammed away, almost refusing to look at us. Instead of being a presence on stage, they appeared engrossed in their instruments.
Cloud Nothings’ setlist from Friday night consisted songs from their newest release “Attack on Memory,” released in January 2012. “Attack on Memory” was well received, scoring an 83 out of 100 on Metacritic – although I wouldn’t know it from their performance.
No, I learned this from searching up their set list at Legends, and it just seems so frustratingly unnecessary that I even had to go to such lengths such as that to discern whether they were seen as good.
The performance itself admittedly was not too bad – at first. Cloud Nothings’ opening did seem to set the stage for what many thought to be a powerful, emotional set.
Their opening song “Fall In” opened with a thunderous ambiance. Baldi’s powerful riffs on the guitar seemed to be interlaced within the track, as Gerycz’s drums seemed to thunder and pulsate throughout the venue.
However, from the start it already seemed apparent to me that this was not the indie-rock performance that I (or really anyone unfamiliar with Cloud Nothings) seemed to expect; it seemed like an odd hybrid between metal and angsty-teen rock. The singing by Baldi was definitely a plus, though it seemed stifled by the band’s own instruments.
Perhaps it was simply due to the equipment, or perhaps it was something that was not made a focal point – either way, it was truly unfortunate that Baldi’s voice was lost to the instruments, whereas they should have played complementary parts to each other. I’m certainly not saying that the music was bad per se, but definitely unexpected.
As the set list continued to progress on, the songs seemed to mesh into each other. This was certainly not helped by the fact that again, there was no introduction of the songs, and of course no clear indication from the performers to the audience.
Now I admit, perhaps I am just not as familiar with the band’s style as I should be. Perhaps this style of minimal-interaction and maximum-music is actually what’s expected in the indie-rock scene. But to me, the average attendee at a concert, I would think that a live performance would entail a bit more than what I saw from Cloud Nothings this past Friday night.
I appreciate that they came to Legends to perform for us, and I do wish Cloud Nothings the best, because I know that the band is a lot better than what I saw Friday night. However, I just couldn’t buy into their performance, which sadly seemed to just blow up in a cloud of nothing.