Cloud Cult @ Johnny Brenda’s | Philadelphia, PA (4/12/2013)

Photos and words by Olivia Antsis

Cloud Cult @ Johnny Brenda's (4/12/2013) | © Olivia Antsis

Cloud Cult @ Johnny Brenda’s (4/12/2013) | © Olivia Antsis

Having virgin ears at last Friday’s Cloud Cult show at Johnny Brenda’s was probably the best and most surprising introduction I’ve had to a band since seeing Patti Smith perform live at the Bowery ballroom on New Year’s Eve seven or eight years ago. It’s true – they were that good. Getting to the venue early, I not only got to check out singer-songwriter Jesse Merchant (who goes by JBM), Cloud Cult’s mellow and moody opener, but I had the distinct pleasure of meeting some die hard Cloud Cult fans like Elisabeth and Jennifer (we’re on a first name basis) and the two mid-western lads Elisabeth gave her extra tickets to in exchange for a drink or three.

Needless to say, the company I found myself in put me in just the right mood for my first Cloud Cult show: joyful, upbeat and invigorated. From the start of Cloud Cult’s 19-song set, JB’s packed house was wild with cheer, swaying and grooving to the band’s signature tunes, yet embracing the band’s newest album Love (listen on Spotify) with just as much energy and enthusiasm. Craig Minowa and friends all played in top form, enjoying the tremendous turn out and positive vibes emanating from the crowd. The show was a real experience – everything from the music to the lighting to the painters spontaneously filling their canvasses with splashes of color, line, and form live on stage. There is no doubt in my mind this band is on the verge of something big.

See the rest of Cloud Cult’s upcoming tour dates here and keep up with them on their FB page. Also, see the trailer for their heartbreaking and inspiring feature length movie No One Said It Would Be Easy here.

Keep scrolling to see more photos from the show.

Set List:
Love & the First Law of Thermodynamics
Chain Reaction
Running With the Wolves
Meet Me Where You’re Going
Sleepwalker
Transistor Radio
When Water Comes to Life
It’s Your Decision
Chemicals Collide
Complicated Creation
Good Friend
You’re the Only Thing in Your Way
Blessings
The Calling
There’s So Much Energy in Us
Today We Give Ourselves to The Fire
:: Encore ::
We Made Up Your Mind For You
The Show Starts Now
You’ll Be Bright

Cloud Cult @ Johnny Brenda's (4/12/2013) | © Olivia Antsis

Cloud Cult @ Johnny Brenda’s (4/12/2013) | © Olivia Antsis

Cloud Cult @ Johnny Brenda's (4/12/2013) | © Olivia Antsis

Cloud Cult @ Johnny Brenda’s (4/12/2013) | © Olivia Antsis

Cloud Cult @ Johnny Brenda's (4/12/2013) | © Olivia Antsis

Cloud Cult @ Johnny Brenda’s (4/12/2013) | © Olivia Antsis

Cloud Cult @ Johnny Brenda's (4/12/2013) | © Olivia Antsis

Cloud Cult @ Johnny Brenda’s (4/12/2013) | © Olivia Antsis

Cloud Cult @ Johnny Brenda's (4/12/2013) | © Olivia Antsis

Cloud Cult @ Johnny Brenda’s (4/12/2013) | © Olivia Antsis

Cloud Cult @ Johnny Brenda's (4/12/2013) | © Olivia Antsis

Cloud Cult @ Johnny Brenda’s (4/12/2013) | © Olivia Antsis