Who: Cigarettes After Sex
Where: Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, Oregon
When: September 9, 2017
Originally stated to come on at 9 p.m., Cigarettes After Sex walked on stage an hour late, and was forgiven by the crowd immediately. No supporting act was listed on the bill, and fans were left waiting in the dimly lit Doug Fir Lounge. Soft, ambient music filled the lounge and helped build suspense. Finally, at 10pm, the music cut out and a projector turned on. Black and white videos would project behind the stage and band throughout the show, for starters the side of a building with snow softly falling was displayed. The four piece group walked out in unison, and Cigarettes After Sex opened with their song “Sweet.”
Cigarettes After Sex is breathtaking live. Through the dull roar of chatter in the lounge before the band came on, many were growing anxious and disgruntled by the minute. As mentioned prior, as soon as the band stepped on stage the mood in the room shifted. Fans slowly swayed, softly mouthed the words, and many had streams of tears rolling down their faces. The intimate setting of Portland’s Doug Fir Lounge only added and exemplified the audience’s experience.
Cigarettes After Sex have a carefully crafted dream pop / shoegaze sound that almost borders pure ambience. The repetition of sound elements coupled with Greg Gonzalez’s (lead vocalist and guitar) soft vocals draw the listener in while allowing their mind to wander and reflect. Cigarettes After Sex speak of and tell personal stories of modern day romance. The relatability of the lyrics explains the somber yet loving response of Doug Fir’s audience, their worldwide fanbase, and the seemingly overnight success of the band. Cigarettes After Sex have become a sensation within their genre, and will undoubtedly grow even more as they continue to perfect their sound.
Post and photos by Joe Hernandez
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