Cut Copy, 9:30 Club, Washington DC

Cut Copy, 9:30 Club, Washington DC

Organised yet sheer chaos.


The capital’s love for Cut Copy is evidenced by how fast their shows sell out here; they make an intelligent decision in figuring an extra day in Washington into their schedule. The Melbourne band don’t disappoint either, with their brightly-coloured, high octane show.

They ‘enter’ the stage through what appears to be a non-descript white door, sat directly in the centre of the stage. This seems like an odd placement for something as commonplace as a door, but all’s revealed in short order. The moulding blinks in rainbow colours, and the door swings around 180 degrees, showing scenes of expansive skies, tropical houses and tribal women on this new screen while the band play on, as if oblivious. All the while, the many strobes and lights so meticulously placed onstage pulsate and flash to blinding effect. It’s a bit of sensory overload, considering we haven’t even talked about the musical portion of the performance yet.

Cut Copy frontman Dan Whitford is quite the animated bloke. In the cartoony sense of the word ‘animated’. The man keeps raising his expressive arms in the air whilst in front of his synth. When away from the synth and with his guitar, he uses every pause as an opportunity to pound his chest à la Celine Dion in the promo video for ‘My Heart Will Go On’. Comical. Perspiring profusely, he has to towel himself off after every song. Considering this is the second night of two shows, you might call him a masochist, but it’s clear it’s all in a day’s (night’s?) work for Whitford and co. Older Cut Copy classics like ‘Lights and Music’ and ‘Hearts on Fire’ receive well-deserved applause, whilst newer ones like ‘Alisa’, ‘Take Me Over’ and ‘Need You Now’, from the band’s third album ‘Zonoscope’, appear already ingrained in their fans’ minds and hearts, judging from the manic reaction to them.

‘Sun God’, the over 15-minute closing track from ‘Zonoscope’ that may have left most fans scratching their heads at the lack of direction, is the last song the band play before the encore. The instrumental cacophony, paired with guitarist Tim Hoey’s abuse of his guitar by banging it on the drum kit high-hat and against the front of the stage, and even in the air, is probably best described as organised yet sheer chaos. And then with guitar, he jumps into the appreciative crowd down the front. It’s the kind of flourish that only truly works with bands that are beloved to their fans, and Cut Copy definitely has that going for them in Washington.