Container Park kicks off Under the Lights with Cults

New York band Cults said the Container Park felt like “playing a house party.” And that’s a good thing.
Photo: Corlene Byrd

Three and a half stars

Cults June 20, Downtown Container Park.

Downtown Container Park couldn’t have launched its new monthly concert series on a more beautiful night than last Friday. Titled Under the Lights and headlined by New York band Cults, the show was just the kind of event the urban mecca has needed since it opened last November.

In April, Sheryl Crow performed for nearly 1,000 people, but experiments booking lesser-known indie acts haven’t drawn as well. Presented by Off Sixth and Downtown Project, the new series positions Container Park as a worthy music venue with great sound and a legitimate music roster (think mid-Coachella bill bands). “It feels like we’re playing a house party,” guitarist Brian Oblivion announced, praising the park’s good vibes. And even though Cults went on nearly 50 minutes after their scheduled start, I was content killing time at one of the park’s quaint gastropubs.

“We came here to hang out with you guys,” Oblivion said, joking that his fans must’ve been the only humans not at EDC. “We love you for that.”

Featuring kaleidoscopic guitars, keyboards and singer Madeline Follin’s dreamy vocals, the five-piece played singles “Always Forever,” “I Can Hardly Make You Mine” and “Go Outside,” as starry droplets and colorful static danced behind the musicians on a large backdrop. And though Cults have drawn obvious comparisons to Best Coast and Sleigh Bells, Friday’s performance felt less homogenized, more what you’d expect from a band on the rise, aiming to carve out a distorted, poppy path of its own.

Next up for Under the Lights: Sky Ferreira on July 18.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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