Another chilly matched the mood inside First Avenue on Sunday, when El Paso band, Cigarettes After Sex took the stage in the mainroom. The atmosphere in the venue was calm and the crowd was ready to give full attention to the soft sounds of the music.
About 30 minutes before they took the stage, a short film titled “You’re the Only Good Thing in My Life” played on a screen. The film’s main visual was a black and white view of the beach, there was a fence separating the viewer from the ocean but the waves were visible behind it and it was raining on the screen.
Words occasionally appeared over the scene that was playing, phrases like “you only fuck for love,” “posing as a Playboy centerfold,”everything is wrong, but it’s alright” and “you make me think of storms on beaches.” The scene cut to a man and woman laying together, then back to the beach. Finally, it ended with a woman opening a door and looking out at the beach, with words appearing on the screen “you’re the only good thing in my life.” The music that played while the film went on was quiet, calm and eerie. The kind of music that allows you to feel what you are seeing, a rainy monochrome moment.
Once the screen went blank the band took the stage. Lighting kept the black and white appearance that the band is known for and the vibe remained serene, the entire evening felt like the 1966 Ingmar Bergman film, Persona, which takes place mainly by the sea.
Lead singer Greg Gonzalez thanked everyone for coming out shortly into the set as well as letting the crowd know their sophomore album Cry is set to be released later this month. The crowd was thankful they were finally making an appearance here, cheering when Gonzalez said that it was the band’s first time in the Twin Cities.
The soft and serene atmosphere stayed throughout the show as the band played hits like, “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby,” “Heavenly” and “Apocalypse.” The show was a place for people to unwind from the weekend while listening to music about love. People around the room where holding onto each while taking in the music and it was clear the music that Cigarettes After Sex relays into the lives of their listeners.