Review / setlist: Cut Copy whip fans into an electric dance frenzy at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa
“You can dance to this.”
Cut Copy frontman Dan Whitford waited four songs before making that proclamation to an already sweaty mass crowding the floor of the Ritz Ybor on Tuesday night.
His band had blown into Ybor City fresh off an appearance at Bonnaroo, and while the evening’s early thunderstorm might have washed away the dust and dirt caked on the band’s tour bus, Whitford and company were clearly still amped from the large crowds they played to just days before.
The 500-plus attendees made the room feel barely half full, but they had all been plenty warmed up thanks to a pair of sets from Melbourne, Australia house music producer Nile Delta as well as a headliner-worthy nine-song performance from Classixx, a Los Angeles production duo who were also coming off of an appearance at the 'Roo.
Cut Copy had already worked through easily danceable material from a brand new LP, Free Your Mind, as well as songs from 2011’s Zonoscope by the time Whitford gave the invitation to dance. Still, he was kind of right in that Captain Obvious moment, because what followed was 10more songs of kinetic, make-your-feet hurt electro that put smiles on a crowd made up of a menagerie of faces, including older men and women perched on the Ritz’s upper terrace, hip and spectacled twentysomethings, and even hot-blooded muscle-bound boys in tank tops.
There wasn’t a downtempo moment during the loud, nearly hour-and-a-half set, and Whitford played the part of revival preacher quite well for the audience by climbing on top of kick drums, double-fist pumping, and flailing his arms whilst instructing fans to sing along to songs like Where I’m Going and Out There On The Ice. You could almost see the bass shaking airwaves on Free Your Mind.
Guitarist Tim Hoey also surrendered to the frenetic cadence by getting lost in the drums and controllers in front of him. He even climbed on top of the PA system to deliver his parts on the disco-noir of Let Me Show You Love, becoming a pleasant distraction in a show ripe with plenty of stimulation (at times, the light show created the impression of a room being tie-dyed or stuffed inside a cone of cotton candy ice cream).
Encore performances of Feel The Love and Need You Now felt a little anticlimactic despite some emphatic sing-alongs, but anyone who was paying attention got their kicks in the middle of the set, when a rave atmosphere permeated during Saturdays, before projectors pumped out psychedelic black and white images during the industrial haze of Let Me Show You Love, which bled into the '80s disco rager Meet Me In A House Of Love.
Cut Copy rewarded longtime fans by dropping 2008’s Lights & Music as the regular set closer, and as they sang the songs lyrics back to Whitford, he stepped to the front of the stage while blinking tri-color blocks flickered in the background. Sensing the song’s crescendo, Whitford directed the crowd to coo along before the drop hit, sending the nowhere-near-sold-out, yet passionate, crowd into a frenzy.
It clearly doesn’t take an army to have a good time, and Whitford -- who dutifully played general to his most devoted fans -- was the perfect guy to lead the charge.
1. We Are Explorers
2. Take Me Over
3. Free Your Mind
4. Where I’m Going
5. In Memory Capsule
6. So Haunted
7. Hearts On Fire
9. Out There On The Ice
10. Let Me Show You Love
11. Meet Me In A House Of Love
12. Lights & Music
13. Feel The Love
14. Need You Now
-- Ray Roa, tbt*