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OPINION: A Live Show Review: Ogden Twilight Series

A divisive energy was apparent throughout the crowd at the Ogden Amphitheater. Gathered in what might have been the most packed show I’ve seen at the Ogden Twilight series, fans came in flocks to see indie-rock band Cigarettes After Sex.

The gates opened at 6, an hour later than typical Twilight shows, with the promise of a silent film opener, which we all waited patiently for but never came to fruition.

With two hours into the sold-out festival and no sight of the band, rain started sprinkling the amphitheater. Concertgoers took turns looking to the sky and questioning if the band would come out and play, or if the weather would storm us out too.

During this anticipation, two back-to-back marriage proposals happened and the crowd became happily hysterical for the two couples. With a sense of young love and warm humidity, CAS came to the stage at 8:15.

A seemingly-energetic audience was instantly lured into a melancholic trance by the band’s opening song, Crush. Greg Gonzalez is the band’s lead singer and somber stage swayer.

Gonzales, along with Jacob Tomsky on percussion and Randy Miller on bass, dressed in all-black for the occasion. One would assume such droning love songs would attract a following of deadheads, Lana Del Rey-adjacent cool-kids, and people who once ran an aesthetic Tumblr blog.

Instead, the hordes of people attending were a mix of all aesthetics and to my surprise, and what seemed like a surprise to others, were the massive amounts of under-21, frustrated and obsessed fans.

Did Cigarettes After Sex rise to Tik-Tok fame and I missed it? Their appeal to the under-the-legal-age-of-tobacco masses befuddled me.

As the band played, Gonzales’ voice was clear and came through with stellar similarity to their recorded albums, the feat of live singing is one that he masters well. As the cymbals rang and bass played on, a frenzy of screams and crying echoed throughout Weber county.

A single rose in flames flashed upon the screen behind the band and upon the first note, crowd favorite song, “John Wayne,” began. The last time I saw this band live was in a much smaller venue, and the crowd was silent then.

This was a different story, as no matter where you were in the audience, Gonzales had a sea of back-up teenage singers. While this isn’t something I’m used to seeing or hearing when it comes to indie rock music, a wavering of appreciation and annoyance took over the crowd.

The person next to me cracked a joke, that they felt transported onto a Disney cruise or a Kidz Bop recording. However, heavy romance is still in the air and fog scattered on the stage.

Altogether, the band played as promised, roughly an hour of pretty straightforward songs that blended into each-other seamlessly with minimal crowd interaction from the dreamy members themselves.

Leaving the show, I still appreciated the band’s aesthetic of sexy mysterious lyricism and their distinctive sound. While the crowd might deter me from attending their larger shows in the future, I have no plans on stopping myself from listening to their music, maybe now just played through my car stereo.

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Adam Montgomery, Editor at Large

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