Written by Eddie Ferranti
Jun 19, 2012 at 10:00 PM
ImageI left my native Ohio in 1979 and moved to Houston, Texas. The music scene had shifted to the “hair bands” and such with the alt rock scene backing it up. One band that I grabbed onto from that era and never let go of was appropriately named The Cult.

The band started touring in 1984 and provided a haven, if you will, for the fans of the Doors, Led Zep, and Velvet Underground. Hell, when the remaining members of The Doors decided to do a tour they enlisted the scary equal talents of Ian Astbury to fill Jim Morrison’s shoes! It was spooky good.

This night, they rolled into the House of Blues backing their latest album, ‘Choice of Weapon’, and it was a rockin’ good time for all the true blue Cult backers. The line-up this go around consisted of Mike Dimkich on rhythm guitar, Chris Wyse on bass, John Tempesta on drums, and of course the dynamic duo of Billy Duffy on lead guitar and Ian Astbury on vocals. The chemistry that these two vastly different artists brings to the table remains the source of affection and admiration evidenced by the legions of male fist-pumpin’ fans this night.

Finally getting into to the venue after what this reviewer saw as over-the-top security paranoia which was heavily relayed was “the band’s decision”, the night was energized by opening acts ‘Against Me’ and especially ‘The Icarus Line’.

As tribal beats ushered in the The Cult members to the stage (10:40pm!) the place exploded with the oldie ‘Lil Devil’, segued right into one of their newest, ‘Honey from a Knife’. Then the security crap continued where I had to leave the building and deposit my camera at my truck and come back to the venue. Very weak, but what can ya do? It made me miss the timeless ‘Rain’  and a good one from new CD ‘Lucifer”. Oh well, paranoia must live on.

ImageThe set list for the night was a great mixture overall of the new CD and killer chestnuts like the ever popular ‘Fire Woman’, which Ian blasted with all get out, to the howling ‘Wildflower’, and the energizing ‘Spiritwalker’. As the show evolved, it was evident that Astbury still has the pipes, but not the stage vigor of years gone by. Dude looked like Val Kilmer and had definitely packed on some pounds.

After all, he’s 50 now and did not do much “Axl Rose” like sashaying and deferred a lot to the power packed rock riffs that Duffy was layin’ the crowd out with. Make no mistake about it, folks. This was Duffy’s gig. Ian may be the unmistakeable voice of this band, but BD cemented the ROCK this night in my view. It was very classy that Astbury had Duffy’s back and gave him plenty of room to let it loose and bring the house down on numbers like ‘Nirvana” and the tingling ‘She Sells Sanctuary’!

Tempesta’s mad man drumming beat and the good time feel that Wyse and Dimkitch displayed only added to the fire Duffy was spittin’ out on stage. This current line-up is relaxed, yet tight and pays dividends for sure. The thing that is cool about a gig like this is the band had nothing to prove, but came and conquered their audience gaining more affection along the way. Showing once again that their special place in rock music is well-deservrd,  Mr.Astbury and company show little signs of slowing down or going away any time soon.

To close it out according to Astbury himself: “We don’t have fans, we have devotees. You either need it or you don’t. You either get it or you won’t. There is nothing casual about The Cult……….”  I need and get it bro!