The Cult Loto-Quebec Stage, Quebec City QC, July 8

The Cult Loto-Quebec Stage, Quebec City QC, July 8
Photo: Rick Clifford
The small bits of green space and roadway that were allocated for the Loto-Quebec Stage site were jam packed well before the Cult started their set, largely by an older crowd perhaps looking to relive the band's '80s heyday. It would have been interesting to see how many audience members could have told you that the band, now led by long-serving members Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy, released a new record back in February of this year, with much of the material receiving a tepid reaction on this particular evening.
That isn't to say the material from Hidden City isn't worth a listen: "Hinterland" featured a nifty blues-rooted solo section from Duffy with plenty of wah pedal action, while Astbury dedicated the emotive "Birds of Paradise" to the lives lost in recent terrorist attacks around the globe. Astbury's baritone voice can still find all the right notes, but a number of points felt like he was shouting in key as opposed to singing.
Astbury trying to liven the crowd up for "Rise" by getting hands clapping and fists pumping worked, but it wasn't sustainable. "Do you guys know how to fucking dance?" he asked in a tone that felt one part stage banter, another part exasperation a few songs later. The crowd saved their biggest reactions for the hits, singing along to "Rain" and biding their time for "Fire Woman" and "She Sells Sanctuary" to make appearances, both of which were banked until the end of the set.