The Cult's Ian Astbury Spits Water at Crowd Texter and Talks "Selfies" at Revolution Live

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Better than: Flying to New York for a Killing Joke show and having the band cancel last minute.

The Cult's frontman, Ian Astbury, is a firm believer in the sanctity of music in a live setting. In a time when more than a handful of the Cult's contemporaries are happy to press "play" on a series of canned backing tracks, wallow about in their history on stage, and take your money, the Cult has managed to make each show a truly special and unique experience. Last night's Revolution Live show was rife with the sort of unexpected moments that just don't seem to happen at rock shows anymore. The walls and corridors were lined with the Cult's faithful flock. They gathered to pay homage to one of the band's most revered works, Electric, and to bask in the presence of a proper rock band reaching for a higher vibration.

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Opening for the Cult was a psychedelic rock band from New York by the name of White Hills. The trio attempted to take the rowdy crowd on a journey to the outer reaches of spacey psychedelia via its brand of guitar driven psych. Frontman, Dave W, donned a mask of silver paint and played burning and adventurous guitar solos that nodded toward the '70s most heroic fuzz gods. Bass player, Ego Sensation -- decked out in a pair red sequined bell-bottoms and a velour shirt with fringed sleeves -- thumped away at heady rhythms on her plexiglass Dan Armstrong bass, successfully holding down the fort (space station?) during W's guitar led astral wanderings. The band won over the initially impatient crowd with its theatrical sounds and look.

The Cult took the stage looking like a bunch of rock 'n' roll mystics that had been swept in by the wind. They proceeded to kick the night into high gear with the percussive opening chords of "Wildflower." Astbury stood before the riotous crowd, an unflappable pillar of confidence greeting his constituents with the shake of a tambourine as he slowly worked his way into the state of transcendence necessary for a proper Cult performance. By the time the band reached the chant portion of "Peace Dog," the audience was at a fever pitch. The band had found its footing, seeding an energy in the room that truly was electric, if you will.

The Electric set continued with Astbury ironically asking the audience to "cool it down a bit" with a nod, and what we'd like to think was a wink, between songs. Throughout the night, Astbury nonchalantly flung tambourines at the audience, punctuating his lyrics with his trademark animalistic barks and grunts.

Billy Duffy was an absolute monster throughout the affair, crunching out bone-shaking chords from a low slung Les Paul and lacing songs with intricate lines of delayed guitar and muscular solos. The solo Duffy played during "Love Removal Machine" was a particularly raucous event, colored with shades of Jimmy Page, but replete with Duffy's own, inimitable swagger. The Electric set did not include the cover of "Born to be Wild" that appears on the album, but was happily replaced by "Zap City," a live staple from the formerly unreleased Peace album that was intended to precede Electric.

Aside from the abandoned tossing of what had to be a baker's dozen tambourines at the audience, Astbury's interaction with fans was unique to say the least. At one point, a man seated in the VIP section was enjoying a piece of cake when he caught the singer's eye. Astbury calmly walked over, leaned towards the man and returned to the stage with the piece of cake, where he enjoyed a few bites during one of Duffy's guitar outings before handing the cake back. However, there was an exchange that occurred at the end of the Electric set that was a bit less cordial.

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Revolution Live

100 SW 3rd Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Music

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8 comments
aredondo1987
aredondo1987

Ian was wrong for acting like that, he seemed kind of high and mighty. But I highly doubt that guy was a doctor, and if he is I wouldn't want to be his patient. He was acting totally belligerent. If he had an emergency he should have left. 

brooklynside
brooklynside

Yeah Ian seems off. I saw the Ft. Lauderdale show then followed them to Orlando last night. We bought tickets to both shows a while back. He was even worse at House of Blues show. Voice is gone and strained. The rest of the band was great and carries him these days. We've seen him a bunch also before this and there's obviously something wrong with him. And spitting on anyone for whatever reason is wrong. I wonder if he's not going through something serious.

britain22
britain22

Your wrong geezer. I was there too and saw what happened Arthurcharleville. It was completely uncalled for and classless by Ian. The guy wasn't asleep and Ian knew it, that's why he ranted about the guy "texting". And I am not a "hater". I paid $300 to be at the sound check and been following them since the Southern Death Cult Bradford days in 1983. Seen them 22 times. Ian's showing signs of wear and might need a break. At the sound check he didn't even take the mic. You don't spit on your fans from the stage. If he'd done that in Bradford he'd of been carried out by his ears. Living in LA with the Prima Donna's has made him one.

arthurcharleville
arthurcharleville

he was not a doctor, haters,,, a doctor would have resolved his ermergency texts not staying almost an entire set of the show texting or sleeping lol FAKEEEEEEEEEE
REad the article Gotthhgrl
"A crowd member in the front row had rested his head upon the barricade and appeared to be sleeping or texting. From our vantage point, it appeared he had his phone shining up at him from beneath the barricade. "

Gotthhgrl
Gotthhgrl

What Ian Astbury did last night was not a rock star move, it was a low life dirt bag move.  I was right behind the guy that got spit on by him. He was a doctor and had just told us he had gotten a call. He simply leaned down to text when Ian went random batshit on him.  Spitting on him without warning for not watching him on stage for a few seconds and ranting how people are rude to text during his show.  Ian do yourself a favor and check in to some sort of anger management or rehab because spitting on your fans for no good reason turned a bunch of us off, and your best days are obviously long gone.

caruso22
caruso22

I dunno. The doctor guy had a right to be angry. What would you have done if someone had purposely spit water he was drinking in your face? Not only was what ian did sleazy but it was actually a crime. The guy had his head down and texting. Try doing that on the street to someone and see what reaction you get.

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