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Cake kicked off their Street Scene set Friday night with the song "Frank Sinatra." There was unexpected feedback and several on-stage technical difficulties during the number. Singer John McCrea, vibraslap in hand, said, “We’re Cake and we’re here to serve you. Obviously, the people backstage aren’t.”

It seemed like the only thing that worked during the Sacramento act’s set were the disco ball high above the stage and the advertisement screens, as McCrea pointed out. It would be two-minute rants between songs such as “Love You Madly” and “Comfort Eagle.” Frontman McCrea was not a happy camper.

The smell of pot and bratwursts filled the air. A few people crowd surfed. Several in the overflowing crowd had a better view watching the side monitors. Midway through the show, we were treated to the hit “You’re Never There.” McCrea seemed to sing that one and the following numbers slightly fast, as if he was in a hurry to finish the set. Several in the crowd turned on the jaded singer when he griped about the sound and effects. “Now what the hell is wrong?!” he blurted into the mic. “Your attitude!” came a voice from the crowd.

Near the end of the show, after McCrea threw out a few complementary Cake shirts and did a rousing cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” everyone was on the singer’s side. As McCrea started a new line of complaints to his fans about not having a record label anymore and not knowing when they’d release their new CD, my party headed for the exit. We were out of sight when we heard radio smash “The Distance.”

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Josh Board Sept. 2, 2009 @ 12:10 a.m.

Darn. I left before Cake did War Pigs, although I think they've done that cover before. I know it's on one of their discs. I think covering old Sabbath songs is the way to go. The Cardigans have done one on two different CDs (and did one the last time I saw them at 4th & B).

As much as I love Cake, they always sound the same. I instead spent most of their set watching other bands.

Anyone see the Silversun Pickups? That dude has one strange voice. It sounds like a woman. But he's got tasty riffs.


Josh Board Sept. 3, 2009 @ 9:31 p.m.

Update: My friend and I were on the phone talking about Street Scene, and he told me that the band Girl Talk (who the Reader featured in the Off Note section before the concert), also did a cover of War Pigs. Why was everyone all over that song????


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