Cold War Kids @ HQ, 23rd March ’16 – Across The Ocean

Cold War Kids @ HQ, 23rd March ’16

There’s no doubt about that Long Beach’s Cold War Kids are a quality act and on this tour stepping up the size of the venues played particularly here in Adelaide.


After selling out The Gov the last two tours should have been an incentive enough for locals to check out these guys. The numbers were well short of where they should be and again it set’s a worrying precedent that Adelaide doesn’t turn out for these types of shows.

Nevertheless it was a diehard and vocal crowd that were up for a bit of rock action on a Tuesday night. Starting at nine o’clock was great for us oldies and emerging from the darkness the band walked out to a rather subdued vibe opening with Don’t Let Your Love Grow Away From Me. It was an interesting choice for the opener going all the way back to their 2005 debut Mulberry Street EP. The crowd started to find their own on one of their big singles All This Could Be Yours off their relatively newish album Hold My Home.

At this point a couple of things stood out for me. The lighting wasn’t great making it hard to see the band on stage, whether this was by design or not who knows but it did follow this theme of very minimal engagement with the crowd. It seemed like the intention was to belt through their set list of eighteen songs before retiring to their hotel for night. It looked like things would be done in an hour. Sometimes this works well particularly for a band like the Cold War Kids who have so many great songs that pointless or misdirected banter is just a distraction. Having said that more than just hi and thank you would have been great. One thing can’t be denied and that’s the energy and ferocity they play with.

As a fan there were so many great tunes that were played that in short were fantastisco! Miracle Mile, Louder Than Ever and Audience were superb. It is really great that their debut album Robbers & Cowards still features prominently in their set list particularly the awesomeness of Hang Me Up To Dry and We Used To Vacation. Every Man I Fall For was great and the extended jam at the end was stellar. The pinnacle for me was the song First and arguably their most successful chart single. Wowsers! This one sends a chill up my spine every time I hear it and tonight was no different and then to push everyone over the edge with set closer Hospital Beds. 

It looked like that was the end but the band did return for a couple more with the scorching Something Is Not Right With Me ending the night with the haphazard vibes of St John offering some very subtle contrast. Cold War Kids were great and who knows what would have been with a few more enthusiastic punters.

Set list
Don’t Let Your Love Grow Away From Me
All This Could Be Yours
One Song at a Time
Miracle Mile
Louder Than Ever
Hot Coals
Hang Me Up to Dry
Minimum Day
We Used to Vacation
Royal Blue
Every Man I Fall For
Drive Desperate
I’ve Seen Enough
Hospital Beds

Something Is Not Right With Me
Saint John

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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