Love was certainly in the air at Thalia Hall on Valentine’s Day. Couples filled the venue and the lovey day was in full effect. The lineup seemed utterly perfect for the day as Cate Le Bon and Mega Bog shared the stage. That assumption was immediately confirmed as the pair made for what would be an incredible show.
Mega Bog started the evening out with her wonderful strange and experimental sound. Led by Erin Birgy, Mega Bog’s avant pop approach is pretty dazzling and otherworldly, even as Birgy shows her more down-to-earth side. In between her engaging performance featuring intricate instrumentation that showcased her gorgeous voice, Birgy beamed with personality. “Since it’s Valentine’s Day I was expecting flowers” she jokingly noted before immersing herself in another song. Despite a few crackling issues with her mic early on in the set (which she switched out after some more self-deprecating humor), Mega Bog certainly enchanted the crowd with her unique voice.
When it was Cate Le Bon‘s turn on stage, it was love at first sight with the crowd. Cate Timothy reached her spot on the stage with poise, looking mysterious as ever as she threw out a few red roses to the crowd. It was a perfect little nod to the day and a great start to the set. She started off with “Dirt on the Bed.” The slow building of that song complimented her stage presence as lights stayed low and blue, highlighting her vibrant guitar for all to see.
It’s hard to not just fall in love with Cate Le Bon’s music. Certain songs just have this aura about them that take the audience on a decadent journey, with her guitar flourishing in the ambient warmth. Take for instance “Daylight Matters.” The track’s chilled-out guitars and addictive drums drive Timothy’s voice to beatific highs. The song’s aching chorus of “Love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, but you’re not here” hits to the core of the audience’s heart as they sway along to its undeniable groove. It was a sentiment that would be mirrored at the song show’s conclusion, in a moment of tender symmetry.
The evening was almost entirely dedicated to her last two albums, Pompeii and Reward. Where most artists would sprinkle in tracks from earlier albums, Cate Le Bon bet it all on the strength of her recent output, which is easily some of her best. It hits on all the qualities that have made Timothy’s sound memorable but evolving them to majestic soundscapes.
That unmistakable ambiance would later turn into almost trance-like jams, revolving around each other until they were spent. On the whole Timothy commands the stage with an seemingly effortless lilt guiding her. She is as focused as her songs, embodying them in ways that few artists can. Particularly toward the end of the night where songs like “Remembering Me” descend into those more evocative guitar trails.
Her final moments on the Thalia Hall stage were truly special as she performed Paul McCartney’s “Waterfalls” as an encore. One loud audible gasp from a fan at the song’s start seemed to capture everyone’s feelings on the night. Cate Le Bon shows are breathtaking ones and this one exceeded the memories of past performances. “Yeah, I need love every minute of the day and it wouldn’t be the same if you ever should decide to go away,” she sang and the crowd swooned, hearkening back to the rest of the night. With so many songs casting their thoughts on love that night, it felt especially apt to finish with “Waterfalls,” sending the audience home with one final loving track.