LIVE REPORTGREEN STAGE7/27 SAT
Take a Big Slice
Cake comes from an era that is near and dear to my heart, the mid 90’s. I was in my pre and early teens. Radio was still a somewhat lawless frontier in the wake of grunge and the rise of ‘indie’ music, lots of variety and flash in the pan bands which burned bright but burned fast. Here one day, gone the next. Looking back at the music of the time, a lot of groups that seemed like they had a timeless sound in the end did not. A lot of wine from that era has turned to vinegar. But a handful of groups had a sound that transcended time to a degree, and can still find a new audience even with their old songs. Cake, I am happy to report, is one of these bands.
They took to the stage at the end of a truly epic 4 minute intro song taken straight from an 80’s movie montage, and landed in front of a projected mountain backdrop, one that was clearly not Fuji. But hey, Fuji Rock isn’t at Mt. Fuji anyways.
The songs are still wry, rueful, witty and very American. The trumpet floating above like it was plucked straight from a Morricone soundtrack or grounding it with mariachi jazz. The guitars all jangly, bluesy and folksy. The familiar tones of John McCrea’s lightly nasal and slightly singsong vocals. His ‘oh yeahs’ and ‘alrights’ did show his age a bit however. Or maybe it was just jet lag.
During Sheep Go to Heaven he was able to coax some singing out of the ‘beautiful voices’ of Japan. He spoke slowly and clearly to the crowd, something which many performers don’t bother to do. Cake knows good service. Their newer songs, many of which they played, sounded like they could have come off classic albums like Fashion Nugget, specifically Sinking Ship.
While they may not have provided the biggest, most impactful Green stage show this far into the festival, it is still impressive that decades into their career they can still grab a crowd as well as they did. With their stated key words being service and sincerity they did not use a set list, catering their set to the crowd. The Cake serves you.
In the end most bands of Cake’s level of golden era fame would be lucky to stay half this fresh this long into their careers. They made the rainy afternoon just a little sunnier.