Words by Audra Tracy | Photos by Nicole Mago

Terminal 5 hosted a true Hollywood throw-down on October 22nd as two Los Angeles-based bands battled it out for a piece of New York’s ever-thumping heart. Cold War Kids and Papa both had something to prove to the East Coast, but for very different reasons.

Papa just released a new album this month called Tender Madness, and the quartet came out swinging, ready to leave their musical mark on 56th St with a rousing bit of rock n roll. Truth be told, it was hard to ignore the charming personality of drummer/vocalist Darren Weiss, especially when he introduced “a Papa love song” called ‘Let’s Make You Pregnant’.

Weiss was also quick to point out that although Papa hails from California, the band actually formed in the Big Apple five years ago. And so to further appease the audience, the gang paid tribute to ‘the locals’ with a cover of the Patti Smith/Bruce Springsteen tune, ‘Because the Night’.

Seeing the bar empty and the dance-floor packed during an opening act’s set is a sure sign that you’ll be hearing more from Papa real soon.

And now, the main event. Some might say that the night’s headliner, Cold War Kids, reached their peak of popularity with their 2006 debut LP, Robbers & Cowards. While the sophomore record, Loyalty to Loyalty seemed to alienate a portion of their mainstream fan-base, the indie rockers have spent the better part of the past few years rebuilding that lost momentum. And on this random Tuesday night, T5 saw the fruits of their efforts.

Culling songs from across their catalog, Nathan Willett & Co. showed a more mature side of themselves – both in their demeanor and their delivery. Old songs were revived, and even new songs like ‘Tuxedos’, off their latest record, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, were enriched by some special guests on saxophone and trombone.

This set was a snapshot of how the band has evolved within today’s musical landscape. They’ve been down before, but tonight Cold War Kids proved that you definitely can’t count them out just yet.



TheWaster.com | NYC