The Cult
Amos’ South End, Charlotte
Sept. 8

Generation XL was in full effect on Tues. Sept. 8 when one of its most beloved bands, The Cult, hosted a middle-aged rocker summit in downtown Charlotte. A capacity crowd clad in standard-issue concert black crammed into Amos’ as Ian Astbury and the gang played Love, their timeless 1985 masterpiece, in its entirety.

The Living Things from Las Vegas took the stage at 9 p.m. and rocked moderately for 40 minutes to a polite reception. They had some decent songs, and they were pretty tight, but they were little too stiff for the rock ‘n’ roll thing they were going for. I gave them the benefit of the doubt because their singer looked so much like Charleston’s all time favorite rock star, Jody Porter.

They took the stage around 10:30 p.m., ripped into “Nirvana,” and proceeded to rock the place straight through the whole album for an ass-kicking one hour set. After a short intermission, they came back and played a handful of hits from later albums — pulling mostly from Electric and Sonic Temple, including “Love Removal Machine” and “Fire Woman.”

The band was in top form. Even from their well-oiled laurels, The Cult still rocks balls. Guitarist Billy Duffy looked and sounded great on his beloved white Gretsch Falcon. The thick, dark, textured thing is right where he has always belonged and it was great to hear him work those tones again. Ace backing band Chris Wyse (on bass), Mike Dimkich (on rhythm guitar), and the talented John Tempesta (drums) could not have sounded better. But Astbury was the man of the hour, with that unmistakable tone and perfect vibrato nice and loud.

There doesn’t seem to be very much connection between Duffy and Astbury these days. They didn’t even make eye contact the whole night, but they both seemed sincerely inspired. Even though it was nothing new, The Cult rocked hard. The set sounded phenomenal, and reminded me how truly great Love is. Hearing it performed lived reminded us how well it flows. It made for a perfect set.