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.”