Concert review: Cloud Cult
- Organic Valley’s 25th Anniversary/Kickapoo Country Fair
- LaFarge, WI
- July 27, 2013 by The Way That He Sings
Photos and review by Joe Stadele. Published by Tracie H.
“We’re so fortunate tonight to have Cloud Cult. Not only is Cloud Cult an exciting band and share our values, but many of the members now live in Viroqua…music is healing, music is good and music is spiritual….and I don’t think anyone represents that more today than Cloud Cult.” ~ CROPP CEO George Siemon
It was the type of show which may go down under the guise of Cloud Cult myth. Hidden amongst the hills of Southwest Wisconsin’s driftless countryside, Organic Valley’s 10th Annual Kickapoo Country Fair in La Farge, WI served as a coming out of sorts for the band that has made the neighboring community of Viroqua their home base. Celebrating 25 years and overcoming a devastating fire, Organic Valley decided it was time to get back to their local roots. Cloud Cult’s participation perfectly complimented the event’s mission of cultivating community and celebrating local food, music and art.
Saturday’s performance was a minimalist change of pace for the band. Riding the success of the critically acclaimed Love, the band has been met with capacity crowds nationwide. With an audience of (maybe) 150-200 friends, family, fans and locals, Minowa joked, “To have this many people out here, what is it…30? It’s cool! But we’re no strangers to that, eh!” The crowd was delighted to witness the intimate event as they huddled close to the stage and soaked in the energy of the night, singing along to Minowa’s every word.
With the exception of 4 songs, the spontaneous set was fittingly filled with tracks off 2013’s Love and 2010’s Light Chasers; both recorded in nearby Viroqua. The band played with high energy as they performed the songs they recorded in those very hills. Before kicking into “Complicated Creation” Minowa explained, “We recorded this next one in the bluffs of the driftless zone, just kind of screaming at the hills and the stars and its really fitting here tonight because it all about this complicated creation and how bad things can happen to good people or bad things can happen to incredible places like Organic Valley but we pick ourselves up and keep going.” Bassist Shawn Neary took it to heart as he shouted at the top of his lungs sparking laughter and smiles among band mate Sarah Elhardt-Perbix. Midset, drummer Arlen Peiffer took to the glockenspiel for a track dedicated the Minowa’s son, “You Were Born”. During the song, Peiffer’s mother tapped us on the shoulder in excitement as she proclaimed, “That’s my son!” Before taking their final bow, Cloud Cult pushed past the 10:30 curfew to perform an inspired “There’s So Much Energy In Us” and then returned to wish the crowd safe travels during the encore “You’ll Be Bright (Invocation Pt 1)”.
A mesmerizing staple of Cloud Cult shows are the live art performances of band members Connie Minowa and Scott West. Connie and West took turns on vocals and percussion as they worked away, spinning and applying brush strokes to canvas. The paintings come to full fruition by the end of the show and then auctioned off. Craig Minowa took a moment mid show to explain one of the painting proceeds would go towards the mounting medical expenses of a Cloud Cult fan that had fallen 60 feet. Collectively, the paintings raised a total of $1650 (pictures are posted below).
Cloud Cult’s performance seemed to serve as a thank you to their new home base that has changed the lives of the band and directly influence on the music. At its essence, every Cloud Cult show pushes to connect the audience with fellowship, love and gratitude for the lives we’ve been given. As Minowa explained earlier in the evening, “When you put positive things out there, positive things happen”.
All The Things We Couldn’t See
Running With The Wolves
Meet Me Where You’re Going
You’re The Only Thing In Your Way
No One Said It Would Be Easy
You Were Born
When Water Comes To Life
Everybody Here Is A Cloud
Blessings (The Invocation Pt 2)
Love You All
Love & The First Law of Thermodynamics
There’s So Much Energy In Us
You’ll Be Bright (Invocation Pt 1)