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Review: Cymbals Eat Guitars

Cymbals Eat Guitars, Last Exit Live, show review
On Saturday, New York band Cymbals Eat Guitars took the stage at Last Exit Live, successfully fighting against the tumultuous Sky Harbor flight path they found themselves pitted against. The tour for their third album, Lose, which was heavily inspired by the death of close friend and former band mate Ben High, has become much more than the average promotional endeavor, instead becoming a travelling wake. Filled with the same emotions that would be present in a traditional wake, the band presented the Phoenix audience with a show that was equal parts angst, mourning, and celebration of life.

While the band set up its instruments and prepared to take the stage, the various audience members milled about outside or by the bar, unsure of what was coming next. However, once the band launched into its opening song, the audience was immediately drawn away from what had previously occupied their attention, leaving drinks at the bar, and a mass grave of half finished cigarettes, to crowd around the small stage. By the time they were finished with the opening and launched into “Jackson” from the new album Lose, there was not a single seated person in the audience. Instead, everybody was arm-to-arm in front of the stage; close enough to dissolve in the amazing performance that Cymbals Eat Guitars gave.

This complex blend of relatable emotions forged an immediate connection with the concertgoers, a wave of empathy connecting everyone involved. The audience not only understood the pain that the band was feeling but saw their own issues mirrored in the performers. The high energy of the show, and unrelenting force with which the band pushed through their set with no rest for themselves or the audience, provided a cathartic release for everyone involved when the show came to an end.

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