The Cult - The Greek Theater
June 15, 2019
Story by James West, The-Rocker.com
Photos by Danette West, Therockerchic.com
Hard Rock was getting its groove back in 1989 when great albums like Aerosmith’s “Pump”, Motley Crue’s “Dr. Feelgood”, and Faith No More’s “The Real Thing” hit record store shelves. Another one of my favorites from that year was The Cult’s “Sonic Temple”, which continued to move the band into harder rock territory after “Electric” from a couple years prior.
Thirty years later Sonic Temple still remains my favorite Cult album. So, when news of a tour in celebration of this iconic masterpiece became known, The Rocker Chic and I couldn’t wait to grab some special $20 seats from Live Nation! This would make my 5th time seeing the band live and The Rocker Chic’s 4th time seeing them in concert. To say we like seeing The Cult is a bit of an understatement, don’t you think? Ha!
The Greek Theater in Los Angeles was the perfect place to witness the band in all it’s glory, and our seats were great considering we bought the cheapo’s (hey, what can I say, we like going to a LOT of concerts!)
The drive from the West Castle was only supposed to take a couple hours, but it took nearly three due to congested Saturday traffic before we finally made it to those familiar weird parking areas at The Greek. But It still wasn’t that far of a walk to the entrance, and the rush out after the concert was relatively fast for where the venue is located (Hello, it is freakin’ LA after all!)
"Prayers" for the "Zola" Zoloft Experience!
We got there too late to see the first of three opening bands of the evening, VOWWS, but judging by the next two opening acts we did witness, Zola Jesus and then Prayers, we could have stopped for steak along the way also and not missed much to talk about.
I know these opening bands were hand-chosen by Ian Astbury himself, but if I had wanted to see Alanis Morissette on acid and a Chester Bennington (RIP) rap wannabe I would have just gone to Coachella this year instead. Although I did enjoy it when Prayers frontman Rafael Reyes proclaimed, “Some have accused me of worshipping The Devil! But the truth is… The Devil worships me!”
The Cult Casts Spell Over Greek Crowd!
The Cult were in such fine form this night they could have delivered a full “Electric” or full “Ceremony” album in addition to “Sonic Temple” and the crowd would have been in complete and utter euphoria!
Ian never looked or sounded better in my opinion, and Billy always delivers the goods. Drummer John Tempesta was solid as usual along with bassist Grant Fitzpatrick. Damon Fox (whom I loved in Big Elf) stayed to just the keyboards this time around.
The Cult opened the show with “Sun King”, the first track off Sonic Temple, and didn’t take their foot off the accelerator for another 15 songs. They didn’t play all of Sonic Temple, which was kind of a let down as I would have loved to also hear “Soldier Blue” and “Medicine Train” in a live setting. They could have ditched both “American Gothic” and “Spiritwalker” out of the set for those two and the evening would have been perfect in my book.
The Rocker Gets Put into Cult Trance!
The highlight of the evening came when they hit their stride in the Sonic Temple set with the trio “Sweet Soul Sister”, “American Horse”, and “Soul Asylum”. Incredible vocals, incredible grooves, and incredible guitar riffs, especially on the Zeppelin-influenced “Soul Asylum” put me in a Cult Trance for the rest of the set.
The Cult have never gotten the recognition or accolades they truly deserve in my opinion, but that may be just as Ian and Billy have planned all along. This fight for their place in Hard Rock History keeps them delivering incredible performances and releasing incredible albums (like their latest, 2016’s Hidden City). But, by the looks of the packed house at The Greek the other night, The Cult still have plenty of life left in them, and there will always be plenty of devoted Goths, Punks, Rockers, and Metalheads who can’t wait to see them again!
The Cult Setlist, June 15, 2019, The Greek Theater
Los Angeles, California:
1. Sun King
2. New York City
3. Automatic Blues
4. Sweet Soul Sister
5. American Horse
6. Soul Asylum
7. Edie (Ciao Baby)
8. Fire Woman
10. American Gothic
12. The Phoenix
13. She Sells Sanctuary
16. Love Removal Machine