Cut Copy at Grand Central, September 29

See the full 40-photo Cut Copy at Grand Central slideshow.

Cut Copy
With Midnight Magic and Washed Out
Grand Central, Miami
Thursday, September 29, 2011

Better Than: Seeing them at Ultra 2011.

It's pretty surprising that Cut Copy has never performed in Miami outside of Winter Music Conference and Ultra Music Festival. Sure, there was that one WMC 2005 show at Pawn Shop Lounge, but the band only had its debut album, Bright Like Neon Love, under its belt. So it was nice to see them finally give Miami its due with a proper club show. And not having to deal with sweaty and obnoxious candy ravers is always a plus.

The night started out with two pretty remarkable bands, Midnight Magic from Brooklyn and Washed Out from Atlanta.

"We are warming your asses up, 'cause it's cold in here," chimed in Midnight Magic vocalist Tiffany Roth near the beginning of their set.

The band perhaps is best known for the track "Beam Me Up", a stellar nu-disco effort that was arguably one of this year's inescapable club bangers -- that's if Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder were still making music.

They performed as a six-piece outfit, complete with a two-man horn section. But the star in the making here is definitely Roth. She was so chatty that she reminded us of the coolest cruise lounge singer imaginable. And yes, we mean that as a compliment.

Washed Out followed and we've got to admit, we just could never get into chillwave. We can definitely see why people like Ernest Greene's lo-fi aesthetics. Sonically, Greene's productions are beautiful. But it's hard to give it our complete attention. As it was, we couldn't sit still beyond two or three songs before we made it over to the bar to grab a drink.

Finally, around 10:15, Cut Copy took the stage, kicking off their set with "Take Me Over", the lead single off Zonoscope. It always amazes us that despite how complex the band's music sounds, they are always able to translate it so well to the stage that you have to wonder if there isn't an iPod plugged into the sound system.

Dan Whitford, as always, was front and center, either behind a synthesizer or strumming a guitar. The man seems like he can play it all, as does the rest of the band who aptly changed instruments whenever a song required it.

At this year's Ultra, we noted that Cut Copy seemed kind of reserved when compared to their last appearance in 2009. Last night, though, the band was back in fine form. During big hits like "Lights & Music" and "Hearts On Fire," the crowd helped Whitford with his vocal duties, while new efforts like "Corner of the Sky" and "Blink and You'll Miss a Revolution" got everyone dancing.

Our personal favorite, "Out There on the Ice," closed out the show. The track is basically the best Depeche Mode song released in years. "Yes, no, maybe, is all I need to hear from you/If things go crazy, she's lost herself and lost to you." The song veers dangerously close to being cheesy New Wave. But that's where Cut Copy's skills lie -- being able to push infectious melodies to the point of Reagan-era frivolousness while still knowing when to stop before it gets too gimmicky.

Critic's Notebook

The Crowd: Despite being an all-ages show, the crowd was decidedly 21 and over, except for a smattering of excited high schoolers.

Overheard in the Crowd: "They're like the Beatles but synthesized," said someone commenting on Cut Copy's matching outfits.

Personal Bias: I may be attending tonight's show as well. Is there a problem with that?

Cut Copy's Setlist
-"Take Me Over"
-"Feel the Love"
-"Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat"
-"Where I'm Going"
-"So Haunted"
-"Corner of the Sky"
-"Lights & Music"
-"Blink and You'll Miss a Revolution"
-"Pharaohs & Pyramids"
-"Hearts on Fire"

-"Need You Now"
-"Out There on the Ice"

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