After a three-year hiatus, Nashville-based indie rock band Wild Cub returned to Boston Oct. 1 to promote their second album, “Closer.” It was a concert characterized by high-energy music and personal stories.
Parade of Lights, an electronic rock band based in Los Angeles, opened the show. Unfortunately, the song lyrics were often unintelligible due to the overpowering, loud instruments. Luckily, they had an asset in lead Ryan Daly, whose charisma appealed to fans even if they could not understand the music.
Daly’s charm was most apparent in his interactions with the audience. For example, after receiving Devil Dogs — mini crème-filled devil’s food cakes — courtesy of his uncle, aunt and cousin who were in the audience, he explained the food was a family tradition and that he used to eat 27 in one sitting. When he noticed an audience member who kept looking at the box of treats, he gave it to her, simply asking that she did not eat them all. It was a personal and unexpected event that erased the boundary between artist and audience.
After clearing the stage, Wild Cub, made up of lead vocalist Keegan DeWitt, guitarist Jeremy Bullock and bassist Harry West, appeared, taking over the space with movement as they began their first song “Clicks.” Due to the similarities in musical style, it was a seamless transition between opener and headliner.
Working their way through “Colour,” “Speak,” “Wild Light” and “Hidden in the Night,” Wild Cub never once stopped moving on stage. The high-energy they exuded as they jumped around roused the audience into their own dancing frenzy.
Throughout the performance, DeWitt took breaks to connect with the audience through a series of self-deprecating stories.
“I always [explicative] up my own lyrics, guaranteed,” DeWitt said as he launched into a story. “When we were doing karaoke the first night of tour and they had “Thunder Clatter” and I was like ok, that seems safe. As I sung, I felt this deep peacefulness, sort of like what people feel when they drown maybe. And it was because my lyrics were just giant letters up on the screen and it said ‘in the style of Wild Cub’ and it counted me in and I was like perfect; we got to get this set up for all our concerts.”
Other anecdotes told in between songs included the time DeWitt tried to sing “Your Body is a Wonderland” by John Mayer after two-and-a-half Miller Lites and when he may have broken the main piece of another band’s stage set at Lollapalooza in Chicago.
Towards the end of the performance, they played the long-awaited, audience favourite “Thunder Clatter,” the lead single from their first album “Youth” that became a hit after being used in a Bose commercial. They then transitioned back to their new releases, performing “Go” and then “Fire” as their final song.