Five thoughts on Saturday's stupendous concert.
Five thoughts on Saturday's incendiary Cloud Nothings concert at Outland:
(1) I know Dylan Baldi is only 20, but I can't believe Outland made him X his hands like every other under-ager. Spare the boy some embarrassment! (Also, turn up his mic next time.)
(2) Speaking of strict behavior: Saturday's main set included all eight songs from the band's new album "Attack on Memory." Nothing more, nothing less. Seeing as they're touring in support of this album, and it's one of the big "Albums Of The Moment," that makes sense, but a few songs from last year's album certainly wouldn't have hurt.
(3) Much has been made of the former power-poppers' shift toward aggression/depression on "Attack on Memory" (a transition that actually began on last year's self-titled effort), and the concert bore out the transformation. At times it was almost like seeing a 90s post-hardcore band with all the breakdowns, screaming and the like. Still melodic, but definitely as brutal as advertised, even on the Green Day-channeling "Fall In."
(4) The other big critical consensus about "Attack on Memory" is that these debris-encrusted ragers are Baldi's best songs by far, a position I've tended to disagree with since I've always loved his work. But when they busted out older material for an allegedly impromptu encore, even my old favorite "Can't Stay Awake" couldn't stand up to the force of what came before it.
(5) "Wasted Days" came out in January, but it's probably the best rock song anybody will release this year. At a time when my psyche gravitates toward rap and R&B more than ever, it's a refreshing reminder of how invigorating a rock song can be. I was shocked they didn't save this for the end of the set, but I'll take whenever I can get it. The 12-minute version they unfurled Saturday was mesmerizing from start to finish, even Baldi's elongated noise solo.