Local Current Blog

Review and photos: Cloud Cult make the State Theatre their nest for a night

Cloud Cult. Photos by Bridget Bennett for MPR.

Cloud Cult have always been my personal favorite band, but during their Saturday show at the State Theatre, they were everyone’s favorite band.

The group delivered a visceral set to a sold-out crowd at the Minneapolis stop on their Seeker tour — named for their latest album, released Feb. 12, and the film that accompanies it.

BBGUN warmed up the audience with harmonious rock ballads as the room filled. I watched as fans of all ages took their seats; millennial couples sat next to grandparents who brought their young grandchildren for a night out. By the time Cloud Cult took the stage, every seat was full and the room was buzzing with electricity. After the roaring applause that followed the first song, “To the Great Unknown,” lead singer Craig Minowa echoed that spirit, telling the crowd, “We have a lot of energy tonight.”

As the set continued, audience members aged four years and 64 years alike belted the group’s lyrics back to them. Perhaps it’s because the band and the crowd share the same home state (founded in Minnesota, the band are now based in Wisconsin), but no band I’ve ever seen has created the sense of community that Cloud Cult did last night, and do at every show. “You are our nest,” Craig told the room, “a big part of our energy source.”

Minowa then took to the microphone to apologize to fans about a Ticketmaster incident which led to ticket prices almost doubling. “But you all came out anyway!” he said. In exchange for the mix-up, he informed us, the band would be playing a double show.

The nearly two-hour set took the energy up and down in waves, alternating between great pounding drum tempos, soaring string harmonies, and light, intricate bell melodies. The intimate, emotional delivery of the vocals resonated with the hearts of everyone in the room, filling up the vast space of the majestic theater. No one could stay sitting in their seats for long.

After “Days to Remember” off of the new album, Craig and his wife, Connie, who is also in the band, talked about calling their young children to check on them before the show, remarking that they “super love that song,” which added to the sense of familiarity between the band and its audience. “A lot of our family members are here tonight,” Craig added.

Everyone in the room was smiling, happy to be there, and having fun. Despite lyrics that often describe loss and hardship, Cloud Cult is notorious for uplifting rhythms and optimistic sentiments, and that optimism was plainly visible in the audience.

The set ended with two favorites, “There’s So Much Energy in Us” and recent single “No Hell.”

“Go be good people!” Craig instructed the deafening crowd as he exited. “Go! Be! Good! People!”

Cloud Cult returned for a three-song encore, returning to thank the fans with “Love You All,” following with “Blessings,” and finishing with the high-energy “Complicated Creation.” As the crowd roared and stomped, the band lined up, held hands, bowed and waved goodbye.

Writer Raisa Elhadi and photographer Bridget Bennett are both students at the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities.

BBGUN

Cloud Cult

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