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Review & Photos: Cold War Kids, Joe P in Cleveland





FEBRUARY 26, 2024

By Neil Shumate, OOTB Publications


Halfway through Cold War Kids’ lengthy set of more than 90-minutes last night, lead vocalist and original member Nathan Willett found himself behind a piano treating fans to a trilogy of heavy hitters and a ballad: “Another Name,” “Mexican Dogs,” “We Used To Vacation.” 


The SoCal band is celebrating twenty years and has consistently released hit songs throughout the two decades, including current upbeat radio hit “Run Away With Me,” which the band performed to a generally middle aged, packed, dancing crowd; for a Monday the venue was quite crowded. 


Cold War Kids has experimented with their sound, but they primarily combine soul and modern blues with indie alt rock—along with piano driven melodies, which makes them stand out among others in the genre. 


When they performed “Hang Me Up To Dry,” the song that quickly propelled them to the top in 2007, the energy of the song’s performance and the crowd’s response was as though the single was just released in 2024. 


Willett delivered precise vocals showcasing his distinct wide range while Matt Maust, the only other original member, persistently moved his bass guitar up, down and sideways with body leans and bends, which has become a Cold War Kids’ live visual trademark. 


The crowd seemed to be less familiar with tracks from the band’s New Age album series and their recently released self-titled 10th album, but fans became less discouraged when older hits were snuck in, such as “So Tied Up,” “All This Could Be Yours” and “Love Is Mystical,” “First.” 


The show was well rounded and it seems the band is more than ready to keep the catchy, hooky hits coming for yet another twenty years. 


Earlier in the evening, New Jersey’s Joe P rocked with a plugged in distorted sound bringing an Alt J, Atlas Genius like combo with a moment of Bowie Earthling-era guitar tones and an overall punch like The Killers. Fans ate it up and many seemed familiar with the original tunes as they sang along. 

See Tour Dates Here


COLD WAR KIDS (click photos to enlarge)

JOE P (click photos to enlarge)