Cults had an eventful show at The Irenic on Sunday, November 5th.

It was a homecoming show for the band–co-founders Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion and most of their touring members are from San Diego. Their longtime drummer is none other than Cory Stier–booker for Soda Bar and musician in Mrs. Magician and Hideout. Singer Madeline Follin’s family was present–she announced that her parents were watching the show and her little brother’s band, Willowz, opened the show alongside Curls (the project of Girls’ Christopher Owens).

Cults opened with the title track off their new album, “Offering.” The religious imagery in their lyrics and projections suited the church venue nicely; the Irenic is a church by day, venue by night. Cue the “coming to church on a Sunday” jokes.

After another new track, Follin called up a couple onstage from the audience so the girlfriend could wish her boyfriend a happy birthday, though more was in store. “You know how I feel about you,” the woman said into a microphone. She then got down on one knee. “Will you marry me?” Of course a collective gasp was heard around the room. Fortunately, the boyfriend said yes and Follin asked them to stay for a “first dance.” The band launched into “Always Forever” off of Static (2013)–an appropriate soundtrack for the romantic occasion.

The old favorites “Never Heal Myself,” “I Can Hardly Make You Mine” and “High Road” seemed to get a bigger reaction from the crowd than the new ones off of Offering. Offering is a beautiful record with catchy melodies and lots of organs–Brian Oblivion was behind the keys onstage this time, but usually he’s seen with a guitar in hand.

The crowd begged for an encore when Cults walked off. One concertgoer upfront scuttled across the stage to grab a set list then disappeared back into the crowd. Cults came back on to play “Keep Your Head Up” and, of course, their iconic hit “Go Outside,” after which the audience ended their night and did.

Review by: Lara McCaffrey
photos by: Christine Heyne