Photos by Vito Ingerto
The Cult showed they still kick an incredible amount of ass on Friday night at the Palace Theatre in St. Paul. And they were joined by what arguably could be called two other headliners, Zola Jesus and Black Rebel Motorcycle Gang, for an epic night of rock.
Staring off the evening was Zola Jesus, a University of Wisconsin graduate and cousin of our own State Senator Amy Klobuchar. Sultry, swirling atmospheric lyrics bounced around the Palace with haunting resonance. With a powerful stage presence and potent vocals, she was backed by a trio of players that included a violin, bass and drums. The violin added a dark, forbidding element to the extremely strong set.
Next up was Black Rebel Motorcycle Gang. The trio kept the vibe mysterious with smoke and backlights. Their set was more rocking. If you close your eyes, BRMC’s music is raw garage band rock. But open your eyes, and its all seasoned rock and roll. Great light show, leather and heavy riffs gives a nod to great rock bands who obviously influenced this trio.
The Cult hit the stage around 9:45 and after a short recorded musical intro immediately came out punching with “Sun King” off of the Sonic Temple album. They sounded amazing, hats off to the sound engineers. While the light show was fantastic, the band let the music do the talking with a minimalistic set. Ian Astbury’s vocals were crystal clear and intensely delivered. With his long hair kept back with a bandana, he prowled the stage like a panther, belting out song after song with authority. Billy Duffy’s guitar work was nothing short of stunning and just crushed it Friday night.
There were no slow moments during the set and the intensity just kept building through “Fire Woman”, “Revolution”, “Rain” and “She Sells Sanctuary”. The entire Palace was bouncing, with fists in the air as they screamed every word of what seemed like an entire set of greatest hits. The roughly 90 minute set ended on a high note with the monster rocker “Love Removal Machine”