Published Oct 24, 2015Low on talk and high on volume, Cloud Nothings wasted no time with their night-closing HPX set at Olympic Community Hall Friday evening (October 23). If you arrived late, or even just blinked, you might have missed the band's first three songs. Even a song like "Psychic Trauma," with a more measured pace in its verses, still felt like it was moving a mile a minute when the chorus hit.
The velocity made the songs even more infectious. Singer/songwriter Dylan Baldi's guitar tone is massive, the sort that occasionally bewilders you as to how only one man is bashing his way into such a gigantic wall of melodic noise. Admittedly, he has a great deal of help from his band mates. Bassist TJ Duke and drummer Jayson Gerycz are impressive players — Gerycz especially, who was thunderous in his on-point T-shirt that read, "Music is a natural high."
The set was full of high points: a slow-building "No Future / No Past" that escalated with patient precision (even when Baldi's guitar became unplugged for a quick second); a thrashing, cacophonous performance of "Pattern Walks"; and the catchy-as-hell "I'm Not Part of Me," the closest a band like Cloud Nothings can get to a crowd sing-along.
A set that began with one of the band's shortest and catchiest tracks ("Stay Useless") fittingly ended with the band's longest and most difficult: the epic "Wasted Days," with its mid-song breakdown that sent the mosh pit into its biggest frenzy of the evening. The band stretched that breakdown as far as it could take it before winding back around to the song's refrain: "I thought I would be more than this." On this night, Cloud Nothings were plenty.