Cigarettes After Sex brings crowd together

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On Sep. 19, bright red lights flooded the Bluebird eater as fans waited anxiously for Cigarettes After Sex to take the stage. The bar was crowded with older fans and loud conversations echoed throughout the theater as the audience sipped their drinks.

Cigarettes After Sex have been around since 2008 and have primarily focused on their current discography until their self-titled debut album was released earlier this year. It is clear that they’ve had enough time to perfect their onstage performances.

The lights began to dim and the band clad in black sauntered onto the stage. The venue was flooded with their dreamy music and the frontman Greg Gonzales looked nearly angelic under the low, white lights.

As smoke swelled on stage, the cinematic quality of their performance was not lost during their tracks “Young and Dumb” and “John Wayne.” “John Wayne” is a whimsical song with a pensive bassline and consistent drum beats to carry the track through its ghostly guitar twangs.

“Young and Dumb” is a very ambient yet explicit song. “You’re the patron saint of sucking cock,” Gonzales sang with a smirk on his face. From the smiles on the audience’s faces, it was clear that many of them seemed to really enjoy the music. The majority of audience members were head banging, thrusting their fists, and singing along to the lyrics.

Couples were having their own little moments as the band’s slow melodic tones flowed in the background. Cigarettes After Sex had a very nonchalant air about them, they performed as if their songs came like second nature to them.

Time seemed almost nonexistent as the show went on. From the light design to their performance, everything was beautifully calming and the love and affection their lyrics describe could be felt within the venue. The deep bass rumbled throughout the Bluebird and everyone swayed with the music as if becoming one with the instrumentals.

The fog from the smoke machines, dim lights, and soft indie music are what made Cigarettes After Sex’s performance so musically and aesthetically pleasing. The ambiance was almost like a scene from a 1980s movie set. It was reminiscent of a bar scene in a movie where everything is foggy and low-lit, while the character of the movie sits alone taking in their surroundings and discussing their lives. With the soft music playing in the background, it gave fans a sense of nostalgia.

Listening to this band perform makes the genre of dream pop or ambient pop make sense as a whole. Everything feels very relaxing yet dreamy and nostalgic at the same time. An array of emotions were felt with every strum of the guitar and every note played on the piano. The lyrics sung by Gonzales hit the audience hard making them reminisce on a past or current love.

They ended with an encore and luckily only made the crowd wait a couple of minutes after waltzing off stage. All in all the band had an outstanding performance, the whole experience was one that most people who enjoy this genre should go feel for themselves.

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