What would happen if Imogen Heap and Chet Faker decided to get together and make a music baby? They would give birth to Elliot Moss, obviously. The 21-year-old New Yorker self-released his debut album “Highspeeds” in 2013, of which he played, recorded and mixed mostly by himself, and is making his way across North America in support of Cold War Kids. The soft-spoken musician and his 4 other band members did little to interact with the audience, but Moss’ silky vocals captivated those in attendance at the House of Blues Cleveland on January 28, 2015.
The mellow 40 minute set transitioned from song to song that included “Slip”, “Big Bad Wolf”, and “Faraday Cage”. Band members like Evan Marien displayed their multi-instrumental talent by seamlessly juggling between bass guitar to synthesizer. While still in the early stages of his music career, Elliot Moss showed that he has the knack and know-how to succeed, and it won’t be long until he will be headlining his own tour.
When Cold War Kids took the stage, their energy and zeal engulfed the near-capacity audience as they opened their 19-song set with “All This Could Be Yours” off their latest release, Hold My Home. As crowd members reached out towards the stage, bassist Matt Maust straddled the stage to get close before quickly flitting back onto the stage. Dann Gallucci also skipped across stage, finding it hard to stand still in one place as the beats reverberated through the concert hall, and bumping into band members like a pinball machine. Lead singer Nathan Willett also joined in on excitement, slamming away on a tambourine and getting down with his band members between vocal sets. Cold War Kids zipped through other hits including the anthem-like “Miracle Mile” and classic “We Used to Vacation”.
Switching from tambourine to a white guitar, Willett launched into 2006’s “Hang Me Up to Dry” that allowed the audience to match the roar of Willett’s falsetto. A good time as any, Willett suggested they “play some quiet shit” and asked if anyone knew the chorus to the next song, in which the crowd had to problem singing it back. “OH, you know it?! Crisis averted!” said Willett as he then serenaded the crowd with a stripped down version of “Bottled Affection” on piano. Cold War Kids ended their initial set with “Hospital Beds”.
The encore, though short, packed a one-two punch with “Audience” and ending with “Something Is Not Right With Me” from 2008’s Loyalty to Loyalty as the band tore up the stage with the generally demure Jonnie Russell riling up everyone at the House of Blues with his tambourine.