Cigarettes After Sex embodied the feeling of being nostalgic for things that have yet to happen at their Observatory North Park show.

Cigarettes After Sex at Observatory North Park by Mashal Rasul for ListenSD

Cigarettes After Sex

Mirroring their recorded output, the band redefine live performances by taking out the elements an elaborate show.

Cigarettes After Sex are a dream pop American band from El Paso, Texas. Greg Gonzales, lead guitarist/ vocalist coined the band’s name based on a past experience with a girl that would always smoke after sex. A heavy influence of the band’s work comes from Gonzales love for cinematography. In an interview with VICE he explained that some of his biggest inspirations are movies and that he would think of a certain film loop in the background while he wrote music. With major musical influence from Francoise Hardy, the Cocteau Twins, and Miles Davis, Cigarettes After Sex’s music reminds you of a lost love.

Cigarettes After Sex at Observatory North Park by Mashal Rasul for ListenSD

Cigarettes After Sex

Due to cinema being such a heavy influence, the show started with a 30 minute black and white video of a perspective looking out onto a balcony. Rain poured as ocean waves were crashing. Every few minutes a phrase appeared on the screen with lines that seemed like they were out of a diary. The phrases chosen were from an unknown narrative reflecting on a relation with a mysterious, yet tumultuous woman.

Cigarettes After Sex at Observatory North Park by Mashal Rasul for ListenSD

Cigarettes After Sex

They came on stage and immediately played their entire self titled album for an hour long set. Their stage was completely bare with just a fog machine and a projection of a still image behind them. Pretty much every song off their self titled album was played at the show including their most popular songs “K.”, “Opera House” and “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby” .

Cigarettes After Sex’s music is that type you listen to on a rainy day while starring out the window thinking about a past relationship, or at least pretending to have been through heartbreak to feel a sense of place. Their performance style is very particular. Each band member stayed in their area and didn’t interact with one another. They all had a melancholic demeanor to match the tone of their music.

Cigarettes After Sex at Observatory North Park by Mashal Rasul for ListenSD

Cigarettes After Sex

Their entire set transitioned effortlessly and smoothly. Each song blended right into the next. Their sound is romantic and hazy with an androgynous style for vocals. Although most musicians try to give their audience a sometimes theatrical performance to remember, Cigarettes After Sex let their music speak for itself at their sold out show.

Cigarettes After Sex at Observatory North Park by Mashal Rasul for ListenSD

Cigarettes After Sex

Click here for a list of their upcoming shows!

Photos & review by: Mashal Rasul 
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