The Cult’s Duffy/Astbury Remain the Kings of Rock at the Warfield

in SF Concert Reviews by

Longevity is one of those qualities rarely seen in music, especially these days with artists coming out faster than ever before. One minute you’re hot on Tic Toc, the next you’re forgotten in cyberspace. Not the case for The Cult which has proven to stand the test of time, and not only have they lasted they’ve actually gotten better.

Last night, was no exception when the band took the stage of the Warfield in San Francisco, to play a two-hour set of some of their biggest hits, including a few from their latest masterpiece Under the Midnight Sun.

Ian Astbury was in peak physical condition as he hopped around the stage like a warrior on a mission. His voice, like fine wine, only seems to get better with time. And he was more chatty than usual this time around. After professing his love for San Francisco and giving a special shoutout to the I-Beam, he also made sure to cut out some time to throw a couple of jabs at the tech bros in the audience. “Who here is a tech bro?” he asked midway through the show. “I feel sorry for you man.”

The performance, as most Cult shows are, felt ceremonial and a communal exercise in connecting with the audience on a spiritual level. Not present this evening were the predictable rock gimmicks and playback tracks found so often these days. And Duffy and Astbury are a match made in heaven. Like Jagger and Richards, Axl and Slash, Plant and Page, the singer and guitar connection that is so often synonymous with rock n’ roll flows effortlessly between these two. How they managed to stick it out for all these years and not break up like so many of their peers is a true testament to the brotherhood that must lie beneath.

All in all, a fantastic performance by these veteran rockers. While a few hiccups here and there made their way into the set including forgetting some of the lyrics to “She Sells Sanctuary,” and some strange clap-back from the room, all were easily forgiven given the high caliber of the rest of the show. I mean this is rock n’ roll, the mistakes are what make it real, authentic, and raw. And besides, coming out for an encore and playing “Vendetta X” for the first time ever easily made up for it in spades.

Photos by Louis Raphael


Sun King
Sweet Soul Sister
Edie (Ciao Baby)
A Cut Inside
Aphrodisiac Jacket
Lil’ Devil
Wild Flower
Fire Woman
She Sells Sanctuary

Vendetta X
(First time played live)
The Witch
Love Removal Machine

Having released albums under Digital Nations, a label founded by Steve Vai, music critic Louis Raphael has remained deeply connected to the pulse of the San Francisco music scene. Following his tenure as the San Francisco Music Examiner for and, he embarked on creating Music in SF® to authentically highlight the vibrant offerings of the city's music scene.

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