My love of the Cold War Kids started almost three years ago when I stumbled upon them while browsing around Myspace. With their release of Robbers & Cowards in 2006 and their follow up album Loyalty to Loyalty in 2008 it is no surprise that they have managed to make a name for themselves in today’s music scene. Just last month the band released their new EP, Behave Yourself. The new EP preceded the band’s four city tour in late January. Last Friday night the tour was kicked off at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. After arriving late my friends and I found the line winding around the corner. Hundreds of fans were lined up in the cold to see the Cold War Kids. After a short wait and the threat of more rain we were let into the warm venue. This was the first time I ever set foot in the Wiltern. This elegant venue is truly stunning. The high ceilings have intricate carvings and the walls are beautiful. This quickly became one of my favorite concert venues. There was a standing room only floor and balcony seating and I’m certain any seat in this theater is a good seat.

We anxiously waited for the opening artist to take the stage. When the lights went out Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah opened the show. I enjoy hearing new music and I am especially happy when a band I love gives me the opportunity to experience a new artist that I have never heard of. Alec was energetic and talented. After the show I made it a point to go out and look for more of his music. Alec Ounsworth recently released his solo debut album Mo Beauty and has announced his first headlining tour beginning in February.

After the techs finished setting up for the main act, Nathan Willett, Jonnie Russell, Matt Maust, and Matt Aveiro took the stage. After technical difficulties with Nathan’s guitar the band opened the show with “I’ve Seen Enough,” and everyone started singing along instantly. If you’ve seen the band live you know the antics they do while on stage. Nathan Willett and Matt Maust casually walk over to each other and give the other little kicks, hits, or pushes as they play. The playful back and forth sets this act apart from any others I have seen. The songs they played had everyone dancing and singing along. Their single “Hang Me Up To Dry” especially amped up the crowd. Before playing “Santa Ana Winds” from their new EP, Nathan took time to talk about Los Angeles and the band’s roots, coming from Long Beach, California and making their way to Los Angeles. After playing “Something Is Not Right With Me” the band left the stage for a break and the crowd kept screaming for the band to come back on for an encore. Before ending the show with “We Used to Vacation” Nathan brought up the earthquake in Haiti and he reminded us that we should do what we can to help the people who have lost everything. The crowd sang along until the very last song that the band belted out. The hour and a half show left everyone, including me, happy. If you have not seen this band live I suggest that you find a way to do so, their sets are always full of energy and they always have fun up there and they make sure their audience has fun too.

Setlist:

I’ve Seen Enough
Hair Down
Audience
Red Wine, Success!
Welcome to the Occupation
Coffee Spoon
Dreams Old Men Dream
Relief
Hang Me Up To Dry
Hospital Beds
Long As I Can See the Light (Creedence Clearwater Revival Cover)
Saint John
Something Is Not Right With Me

Mexican Dogs
Tell Me In The Morning
Sermons
We Used To Vacation

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