A dimly lit room, fog machines, striking visuals, and analogue synthesizers all set the scene for a glorious rendezvous of 80’s goth synth pop with Cold Cave, Black Marble, and Choir Boy at the Music Box.
Choir Boy’s opening slot brought a melancholic take on synth pop. The lead singer’s striking croon mixed with soft synth pads and moody saxophone phrases created an environment perfect for a scene out of David Lynch’s surreal Twin Peaks series.
Next, Black Marble treated San Diego to their minimalistic post-punk catalogue. Their sound is a subdued blend of lo-fi synthwave, in the catchiest way possible. As the mesmeric riff of “Iron Lung” finished, the crowd was left in a dream-like state.
Fog spilled over the stage when Cold Cave walked on stage and greeted the eager crowd. They started with “My Heart Is Immortal,” the first track of their stellar You & Me & Infinity EP that was released in April. With a blaring drone coming from Korg MS-20 (used by legends like Aphex Twin and Skinny Puppy) synth, the drummer and bassist held the rhythm section down tightly. Wesley Eisold, the brainchild and leader of the band, shadowed the stage and uttered haunting spoken word: “Full of hate, Full of love, Transcend Everything…”
The band performed fan favorites like “Confetti” and “Love Comes Close,” which in turn had the crowd dancing to the sharp rhythms. The stage was shrouded in darkness which allowed the visual focus to be placed on the black and white images of American flags, flames, and dandelion fields. The set finished with “Icons of Summer” and left the whole room in awe and ecstatic for next time they’ll return to San Diego.