The Fillmore, packed with couples in a thick coat of fog, showcased the beloved indie rock band, Cigarettes After Sex, last Thursday.
The lead singer, Greg Gonzalez, stood in the middle of the stage throughout the whole night with his eyes closed, focused intently on his vocals and his guitar. “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby,” one of Cigarettes After Sex’s most popular songs, kicked off the night.
Gonzalez’s gentle and soothing vocals instantly put a calm over the audience. Unlike most shows at the Fillmore, fans weren’t pressing against the barrier, trying to grab the band, but stood; some with their eyes closed and others staring in a trance at the band. No one screamed out their names, no one yelled “I love you.” Instead, the audience was there to enjoy the music in its entirety without interruptions.
Drummer Jacob Tomsky played on what looked to be half of a drum set. Different from a normal five-piece set, it only featured three components: a single cymbal, the bass drum and a snare drum. It only added to the simplicity the band already captured in their songs like “Affection” and “K.”
“Affection” was the crumbling love story of troubled lovers who can’t quite leave each other, but only hurt one another when together. Gonzalez played heavy notes of the electric guitar and was slowly joined by Tomsky and bass player Randall Miller. The bittersweet song only proved the talents of Cigarettes After Sex. They were able to capture anger and frustration in a beautiful and soft performance, where Gonzalez held his composure and calm demeanor.
Many couples embraced while Cigarettes After Sex played their love-y music and the room filled with obscure fog, making my single self feel a little bitter, but ultimately smile at their sweet infatuation. During the song “Apocalypse,” about the act of loving someone eternally and without apprehension, couples started to separate themselves from the audience – not because the song was bad, but rather because it encouraged them to prove such love. Keyboard player Philip Tubbs led the base of the song, adding airy and almost angelic notes complementing the drum rhythm.
Towards the back of the Fillmore is where the odd mix of couples making out and loners sipping on cheap booze resided. I guess it was hard to listen to such sexy music and not feel either lonely or turned on.