by Victoria Tan
[three_fourth]It’s rare for me to arrive at a show before doors open, but I ended up arriving 20 minutes early to Wild Cub’s show at Brighton Music Hall. I could hear Parade of Lights sound checking inside as the headliners ate at the restaurant next door. The crowd was mainly young adults with drinks in hand but as Wild Cub’s lead singer, Keegan DeWitt joked, there was a high volume of dads at the show as well.
The crowd was evenly split with super fans for both bands. Parade of Lights was on first. The Los Angeles-based band features lead vocalist Ryan Daly, bassist Randy Schulte, keyboardist Michelle Ashley, and drummer Anthony Improgo. They got the crowd moving with their upbeat catchy songs that mix electronic and pop music. The set included their new single, “Victorious” which was reminiscent of Panic! At the Disco’s song of the same title. The songs share a similar vibe: edgy and dark, but with an overall empowering message.
As Wild Cub started to set up their gear, the audience anticipated a wild night. The band was formed in Nashville by DeWitt and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Bullock, with support from drummer Dabney Morris, bassist Harry West, and keyboardist and synthesist Eric Wilson. Wild Cub started their set with “Clicks” from their second album, Closer. Their music is a blend of indie rock, and pop with lots of guitar solos and bursts of energy that are guaranteed to make you dance. The band’s energy was contagious as they rocked out all night. They appeared lost in their own music as they played their hearts out on stage. The crowd tuned in eagerly, fixating 100% of our attention towards them as our bodies swayed along to the rhythm. A crowd favorite was “Wild Light” off of their first ever LP, Youth. But for me, the highlight of the night was their performance of “Speak.”
The concert was so intimate and personal that it felt more like a private performance. The band’s stories and jokes felt more like a conversation between friends than typical stage banter. Keegan joked about how he once forgot the lyrics to a song he was playing acoustically for a radio show. He may or may not have been drunk at the time. To end the night, Wild Cub performed their biggest hit, “Thunder Clatter.” The audience was singing along all night and positivity was radiating in the venue. The performance was incredible, especially for a lesser-known band. They really know how to read the crowd and keep us on our feet. It’s been three years since the band released a new album but the fans still came out to support them. As Keegan mentions, “there was a time we didn’t know we’d finish – part was due to you guys hoping [the] audience would still be there.”