Concert Review: Wild Cub, September 29, DC9

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Photo Credit: Allister Ann

Keegan DeWitt, lead singer of Nashville-based Wild Cub, is a story teller in the two best genres: high-energy indie rock and self-deprecating stories.

“This is becoming story hour with Wild Cub,” DeWitt said to the audience about halfway through the set before launching into another story. “So I try really hard not to lose my voice on tour, but a couple of days ago we were out doing karaoke after a set, and I lost my voice singing ‘Your Body is a Wonderland’ by John Mayer.” “Worth it!” yelled an enthusiastic crowd member in the back as DeWitt started crooning, “My body is a wonderland”, and then correcting himself. “No wait, it’s ‘your body is a wonderland’ not ‘my body is a wonderland,’ That would probably be a little weird if you started singing it about yourself.” His bassist then chimed in, “Or you could always sing my favorite version which is ‘John Biden is a Wonderland.’”

Love.

The group’s 2014 album Youth and 2017 album Closer are both studies in everything great about indie rock – a mixture of catchy riffs, introspective vocals, bouncing beats, and on the track “Somewhere,” irresistibly intoxicating horns (I dare you not to give a little shoulder shimmy on that track. Dare. You.). Live, the band sweats energy, literally jumping around the stage as they have mini-jams with each other during instrumental moments. And if you’re really lucky, or you’re 6’8’’, you’ll get a glimpse of the seated drummer who appears to be having the time of his life in the back. Working their way through “Magic”, “Somewhere”, “I Fall Over”, “Speak”, and of course “Thunder Clatter”, the group whipped the crowd into a dancing frenzy. Not capturing their hearts, because clearly they had accomplished that years ago, but reminding everyone why they loved the band so much in the first place.

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