The band Cigarettes After Sex, dressed all in black, stepped on stage Tuesday night at The Sylvee to deliver a show equal parts visually stunning and aurally pleasing.
Formed in 2008 by Greg Gonzalez, who considered it an “experiment,” Cigarettes After Sex released its debut album, titled “Cigarettes After Sex,” June 2017.
More than two years later, Gonzalez, the band’s primary songwriter and lead vocalist, announced their upcoming album, “Cry,” to be released Oct. 25. Two songs from the upcoming album, “Heavenly” and “Falling in Love,” were recently released, giving the band more content to work with for their performance.
The show began with a short movie, an almost-montage of lines and phrases that can only be attributed to the dreamy, achingly euphoric feeling of Cigarettes After Sex.
The movie, which served to increase the crowd’s anticipation and set a nostalgic mood, had a dim, hazy scene of a parapet against the ocean and light drizzle.
The band is as good live as it is on CD.
Behind the band members, monochrome short clips, different for each song, accentuated the melancholy of the music.
A sepia sun, partly hidden by clouds, faded in and out as Gonzalez murmured the lyrics to “Sunsetz” into the mic — a glass ball on the screen unravelled a town for the song “Apocalypse,” looking almost like it was running across a memory.
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Meanwhile, band members were illuminated by foggy green and soft lavender lights, Greg enclosed by a prism of light beams. The lights increased effect of the hazy, dreamlike lyrics of “Cigarettes After Sex” during the songs “Sweet” and “Opera House” as the crowd softly swayed to the tender music.
The members made a pretend exit and returned to perform the final song of their set, “Dreaming of You.” Gonzales’ hoarse, deep voice came as a shock when compared to his soft, sentimental singing. With the shoegaze music rising steadily to a low roar, the mirror glass disco ball projected light that resembled thousands of stars sprinting across the crowd, the stage, and the concert venue.
If I close my eyes, I can still see Gonzalez’s almost-silhouette against a dark, fuzzy background, covered in stars, eyes closed, crooning “dreaming, dreaming, dreaming, dreaming, dreaming of you.”