After 10 years of tour buses and sweaty night club shows, it’s easy to see why The Cat Empire has such a wide following. The musicianship coming out of this eight-piece Australian funk fusion band is astounding. Especially for a group of young men— none of which looks older than 30.
From reggae to hip hop, though jazz and blues, with middle eastern wails, Israeli rhythms and eastern European oom pahs, the Cat Empire does it all, and does it all very well.
Alix Goolden Hall came alive last night. It was hotter than Hades in there, but that didn’t stop the sold-out all-ages crowd from going wild. Most people were dancing, and even the ones who chose to remain seated couldn’t remain stationary— hands were in the air, feet were stomping and the art of pew dancing was perfected.
Openers Australian indie-roots band, Tin Pan Orange pumped up the crowd to the point where just after they left the stage, the crowd began to chat “The Cat Empire” through almost the entire intermission.
With a 13-song set list, The Cat Empire took the audience on a globetrotting, almost two-hour performance. I danced so hard I have blisters on both feet.
The stellar musicianship was punctuated by rolling solos, with each band member taking a turn in the spotlight. Standouts were keys player Ollie McGill with a blazing keys solo right out of the gate with Fishies (from 2007’s So Many Nights), and second frontman and lead trumpet player Harry James Angus’s growling horn and wailing lungs blew me away.
After a two-song encore, we were released into the night completely exhausted and so totally invigorated that I decided I had the stamina for a 40 minute walk home. I arrived on my doorstep completely wiped but still buzzing from the power and joy of the music. M
So Many Nights
Call me Home
How to Explain