Concert Review: Cloud Cult at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, MN. – April 5, 2014

  • Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul, MN
  • April 5, 2014
  • Published by Joe Stadele on April 8, 2014.

Cloud Cult Unplug Fitz (5)To label Cloud Cult’s sound as “eclectic” may be an understatement.  While eclectic it certainly is, singer-songwriter Craig Minowa’s music has grown increasingly bold and consistent; and through it all, the music has been bound in hope.  Minowa and company are taking a moment to look back on the nearly 20-year body of work with the release of Unplug (now available) and an accompanying series of half acoustic – half electric shows with a setlist presenting that message of hope. Fans were ready to celebrate with the band.  Presale tickets sold out the two night stint at the Fitzgerald Theater in only 18 minutes; securing Cloud Cult with the second fastest selling show in Fitz history; “Second to Menudo,” singer/songwriter Minowa joked. While the St. Paul setlists were not as expansive as their intimate January warm-up gig at Clyde Iron Works in Duluth, MN, the band dug deep and switched up the setlist for a very fluid evening.

With the flip of a switch, painters Connie Minowa and Scott West Cloud Cult Unplug Fitz (19)eyed up their canvasses while the rest of the band sat side-by-side across the stage.  Cloud Cult moved fluidly through their acoustic set shifting momentum between introspective sing-a-longs (“Meet Me Where You’re Going”/”Transistor Radio”), foot-stomping campfire songs (“Running With The Wolves”/ “Complicated Creation”) and instrumentals.  Minowa was out spoken during the early set, sharing stories and anecdotes throughout.  After a stumble on the acoustic guitar during “When I’m Gone,” Craig broke into laughter explaining how his daughter, Iris, walked up to him recently while rehearsing the song to say, “Dad….shut up!” There was little time for silence in the night as the band brought a thunderous intensity to the electric set, blasting through fan favorites “1x1x1” with cellist Daniel Zamzow on bass, forming the drum circles for “Blessings – The Invocation Pt 2”, injecting hip-hop beats during “Intro” (from Advice From The Happy Hippopotamus) and everyone joining together on vocals for “Good Friend”; but it was a haunting “Car Crash” featuring violist Shannon Frid-Rubin on vocals which left fans in awe post show.

In his 19th year as Cloud Cult, Craig Minowa has amassed a huge body of work spanning 9 albums.  While his vision, perseverance and sincerity have clearly paved the way for the band, Cloud Cult’s largest assets are the incredibly talented multi-instrumentalists he has chosen to come along for the ride…and there is no better opportunity to witness firsthand than on this retrospective ”Unplug”  tour. Cloud Cult’s Unplug is now available.

 

Acoustic Setlist:Cloud Cult Unplug Fitz (22)
You Were Born
Breakfast With My Shadow
Meet Me Where You’re Going
The Ghost Inside Our House
No One Said It Would Be Easy
Responsible
You’re The Only Thing In Your Way
Running With The Wolves
Journey Of The Featherless
Purpose
Light At The End of The Tunnel
 Step Forward
Pretty Voice
Transistor Radio
Complicated Creation

Electric Setlist:
Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Everybody Here Is A Cloud
1x1x1
Blessings – The Invocation Pt 2
Car Crash
Sleepwalking
Love You All
Intro [Advice From The Happy Hippopotamus]
The Calling
Love & The First Law Of Thermodynamics
Good Friend
There’s So Much Energy (In Us)

Encore:
You’ll Be Bright – The Invocation Pt 1

 

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