As if entering a dream that hankers into the value of life lesson and self-forgiveness, Cloud Cult forges a rare breed. One that animates the darkness of life while blending the euphoric melody of music into a whole will leave you with a longing to seek your better self: something that can be found through the guidance of the heart and soul that the group endlessly advocates.
On Saturday, April 9, The Sinclair in Cambridge flooded with a dreamy aura as the venue began to trickle in more and more earth-loving fans for the beloved eco-inspired seven-piece band, Cloud Cult. With mellow red, blue and green lights radiating behind hazy smoke machines paired with tranquilizing music, I began to lose myself into a state of Zen and found my mind wandering: something that doesn’t usually happen to me while waiting for a show to begin.
The stage was small but the array of instruments made it appear much bigger than expected. With an assortment of electric guitars, acoustic strings, a violin, a mandolin, a cello, xylophones, a French horn, a keyboard, the classic drum set, bells, a trumpet, trombones, a banjo and even a set of canvases stood tall in the backdrop. The goal to transcend the audience into pure bliss, peace and into a dream left me with anticipation and excitement as the time ticked closer and closer to 9 p.m.
The Minnesotan indie rockers notoriously embody an earthy lifestyle. Their honest, peaceful and environmentally friendly mission tracing back to 1997, when the group began recording songs on an organic farm, gave way to their solar-powered studio Earthology Records. Generating music from geothermal energy and built partially on reclaimed wood and recycled plastic, the band began to be trendy. Their music seeks to mirror the same motive—played with a pulsating punk-rock feel, which is overridden by the sensational, soothing sound of a violin and brass instruments and topped with singing about life experience and strength.
Following the opening act of a the three-piece rock group BBGUN that hyped the audience with their tune of powerful strings and drums, Cloud Cult opened and performed a few of their classics from their popular 2013 album, Love. Although on tour to promote and perform their tenth album The Seeker, a 13-track LP that follows the life of a girl plucking through life of early tragedy and who put faith into the hands of the unknown, the band primarily played their earlier Cloud Cult mix (including songs from Aurora Borealis / They Live on the Sun from 2010 and Light Chasers).
Relatively new to the indie band and their music, I was starstruck with the power and soul striking performance. As lead singer, songwriter and guitarist Craig Minowa chanted and whole fully sang in response to the crowd singing with the band, the power of the music grew stronger and struck a goosebumps-enducing chord in fans’ hearts.
“I feel your energy tonight,” said Minowa. “We will give that energy right back to you.” And they did.
With Minowa’s wife Connie and best friend Scott West live painting in the background as the group captivated the audience with awe and power, one could truly see the depth of self-exploration, growth and conquering that the band strives towards with a sprawling kaleidoscope of the life force driven from a simmering, prayerful, meditative sound.
I swayed and closed my eyes with the movement of each song, seeking that better part of my mind to unveil the strength to overcome all life’s struggles as my thoughts bounced with the sound of the bells and violin, tantalizing the feeling of resilience in my heart.
“We are going to give you a long set tonight,” said Minowa. This visibly and audibly excited each and every member of the crowd.
Each song seemed to tie and morph together into a mere two-to-three-minute eloquent chord that revealed the robustness of The Seeker tour. Completely enthralled by the divine power evoked by the pulsating snare, mesmerizing bell and spellbinding voice of Minowa, the concert truly was a concert of a ‘seeker’ that seemed to preach life lessons through music.