Cherub: Mr. Smalls 10/8/14
On a night where Porter Robinson was drawing much of the attention of Pittsburgh’s young people in the direction of Stage AE, a smaller more dedicated crowd gathered at Mr. Small’s to spend their evening with Cherub. The Nashville electro-pop duo is gaining a larger fan base in the last couple of years, and spends much of their summers hitting festival stages. Mr. Smalls’ more intimate venue was a nice change of pace from the large festival landscapes I have previously seen them in. When lead singer Jordan Kelley entered the stage he was greeted with his first birthday gift of the night, a new guitar. This only served to elevate the energy of the already charismatic front man and send us rolling into the night.
The band pulled no punches and hit us with a solid chunk of their discography. Through each song, the crowd kept pace and once again I began to get that rock star vibe from the duo. This is a band on the cusp of serious notoriety, yet they keep their stage presence light and act as if they are playing a small party with friends. Still, large sound resounded as they funked their way through “xoxo” and got down and dirty with “Minez & Yourz.” As always, “Doses and Mimosas” stood as the most popular stand out track, with the whole crowd emphatically tossing the sounds back towards stage. The chemistry between Jordan’s vocoder tube harmonies and Jason’s smooth, power-thrusting guitar licks had everyone locked in and subject to the quick-rhythm whim of the pair. “Monogamy” served as another fan favorite and by the time the encore began, Jordan had received a J Dilla style mpc to add to the birthday festivities. To close, the band rocked “Obviously,” which they featured on with Ex-mag on the most recent Gramatik album. This was unexpected to say the least, and capped off what amounted to an epic night. Cherub’s distinct sound and unique stage presence are the type of intangibles that separate them from the other short-lived noise that fades out of the music scene.