REVIEW BY DAVID TAYLOR AND PHOTOS BY BOB DeHART | Go Venue Magazine
Sunday, September 25 marked the return of The Cult to Omaha, a twenty-one-year hiatus since they played the Ranch Bowl. They played at the Admiral Theater, which was formally Sokol Auditorium. It was my first time since the renovation, and it felt familiar, yet new. I was so excited to finally be back in the building since the pandemic started.
Bay Area doom metal band King Woman was the opener for the concert. Led by lead vocalist Kristina Esfandiari, these guys were on a different wavelength than the crowd was. Which is not a bad thing. I find this band quite interesting. You never see a woman front a doom metal project every day, so you have to respect that. And to go out into a crowd full of The Cult fans who are not familiar with your music, let alone you’re playing music very different from what The Cult plays, it takes strength and determination to do that. It was heavy, dark, and moody, but you could still bang your head to it. It was performative art in its highest form. Check out their latest release, Celestial Blues, wherever you get your music.
And finally, The Cult was ready to take on Omaha. This is lead singer Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy’s baby since day one, so for them to keep on doing this professionally, on and off, for about forty years is remarkable. Ian Astbury is equally a powerful vocalist and a charismatic persona. He loved to chat with the crowd and even commended Omaha for having good record stores (he stopped at Homer’s earlier that day) and that there was some live show competition in town that evening between them, Dinosaur Jr., and Agent Oranges, bands that he admired. Billy Duffy doesn’t get the recognition he deserves for his guitar playing. He is a man of the guitar tone, and a unique one at most. He really knows how to caress a Gretsch hollow body. It was amazing to see this crowd, who were mostly Gen X, fall in love with the songs from their youth, again. The Cult continues to remain one of the most enigmatic bands to ever grace a stage. Be sure to check out their upcoming album, Under the Midnight Sun.