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Wild Cub unfiltered. Live in NYC


by Samuel Hernandez

“Hate the way we’re speaking to each/we’re killing in each other ‘til the morning/Don’t Stop”

As soon as Wild Cub’s Keegan DeWitt appeared on stage, his sharp dress shirt casually untucked from one side, his clean cut hair, and his undivided attention to making sure all the crowded instruments were set up correctly. The stage was densely packed, allowing each of the five band members only the space immediately around them. Keegan, looking very much like the coolest dad on the planet, was the clear frontman, forcing eye contact and pulsating with energy. With the first notes struck he was electrically gyrating, a man holding onto an open conduit and refusing to let go. He played his guitar with precision, thrusting it around and wringing from it a solid dance, a dance that spilled with each note onto each of the band members and onto the audience.

What was surprising was the energy that accompanied each song. Youth is a young record, recorded in a home studio over a short span of time in 2012. It’s obvious since the release that each of the songs have been fine tuned and amped up to eleven. DeWitt depicted Wild Cub’s sound as the late night accompaniment to lonesome drives, drives after everyone else has been dropped off and all that sits ahead is that long distance from where you are to where your bed is. That much is obvious. “Thunder Clatter” is an ecstatic pain about forlorn love and whispered sweet sayings that would sound good coming slowly out of a hesitant and lonesome driver and then being belted along to. Wild Cub captured that intimacy in person.

DeWitt was constantly making intense eye contact with his fellow band members. In a moment of pure vulnerability, DeWitt completed his love torn lyrics and then settled into a guitar jam with the bassist. The bassist throughout the night had seemed nonchalant, playing as if he was too sexy for the bass, and when DeWitt tried to engage him in a play along by looking in his direction, the bassist turned his head slightly and looked away. There was a pained narrative as the music forced the audience to move their body, DeWitt plucked along sweet melodies, and the bassist deep grooves, DeWitt desperately trying to lock eyes with his partner on stage.

DeWitt, the most fascinating to watch throughout the show, provided some gems of dialogue during songs, just a second of conversation before storming off to the next song.

On a New York Times article that chronicled the loss of their equipment last time in New York: “He made it out that we were just small city fellows from Nashville thinking gosh New York is big and scary.”

On his daughter: “I just had my daughter two months ago and I tell you it’s hard to remember lyrics when you’re thinking about this miniature of you. She actually rode up with us.”

On their set: “Most bands do that thing where they leave the stage and the clapping brings them back. We can’t do that. We’ve played all the songs we have now. But we’ll be back in August, I can’t tell you where but it’s in Manhattan. August 9th…. At the Bowery Ballroom.”

Wild Cub shook with the vibrancy of their songs, bringing what sometimes sounded like 80s glam and prog rock to the stage, but never ceasing to get the crowd moving. There is passion in the band, an unfiltered brand that makes a night all the sexier and more exciting.

“Our love is the love we wanted/Out late on a hot, hot night/I need you here, need you to come alone”

Image by Dylan Reye

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