Where does the time go?? For starters, I had to survive both the NLDS and the NLCS, and now that the calm has temporarily descended until the World Series begins, I can turn my attention to loose ends. There's absolutely no reason for me to post this review -- other than for personal record keeping -- especially two weeks after the fact, but I might as well finish up my Hardly Strictly coverage with Cibo Matto at the Chapel.
Cibo Matto, the Chapel, Oct. 4, 2014: Speaking of the NLDS, we tore ourselves away from the game during the 14th inning to make our way across town to this show. On the 22 Fillmore, we got news of Brandon Belt's homer at the top of the 18th, but the walk down Valencia was a showcase of my most schizophrenic urges, as I stuck my head in every doorway with a TV, while at the same time denying I needed to watch the remainder of the game. Fortunately, we arrived at the Chapel during the last at-bat, where the Giants struck out the Nationals and capped a 6-hour-plus contest. The room erupted, and we were still in time to catch the opening band. I wonder if Cibo Matto had any idea how the audience might've welcomed them otherwise ...
I was excited for this show, as their set at Hardly Strictly the day before wasn't enough for me. To start, the night was a lot cooler, even in the Mission. The sold out crowd was probably at least as cozy, but based on overheard conversations and random chatter, it seemed a lot of us had NLDS energy to dance off.
As expected, Cibo Matto turned out a longer version of their festival set, bringing back many of the tunes and the banter (Big Sur, nature, water). At one point, Yuka's setup stalled, and Miho went slightly off-script to give her time, but I'm pretty sure the audience welcomed the extra chatter. I loved seeing Yuka and Miho's dance moves close up, and you couldn't help but smile at the sight of the entire band springing up and down in unison (kinda).
I have no idea why this surprised me, but judging by the fans directly around me, Cibo Matto has a fair-sized following among gay men. What can I say? It was the '90s, and despite obvious female and gay figureheads among the major recording artists, the indie rock scene was dominated by straight white men. Anyway, I had a blast to be disabused of my notions among this adoring, reverent, and energetic crowd.
No-brainer No. 2: I think this is the first time Nels Cline has officially toured with Cibo Matto, and his influence was all over their sound. Cibo Matto has always been known for its unusual, unpredictable hybrid rhythms, but Nels jolted the pace from time to time with hard notes and sonic slaps across your earholes. This should surprise no one that songs both old and new sounded almost exactly as you'd expect when you cross Cibo Matto and Nels Cline. However, if you're expecting the Nels Cline show, think again -- this was all Cibo Matto, albeit the 2014 incarnation.
On our way out, we ran into a few familiar faces scheduled to appear at the festival the next day. It was lovely to see them, but honestly, we had the equivalent of an 18-inning game awaiting us the next day. Still, "Birthday Cake" might qualify as a walk-off closer, as far as gigs go.
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