Cynic began their US tour a few nights ago at the El Rey here in Los Angeles. I, like many of you, made sure I was there to witness the melodic mayhem firsthand. After a few navigational mishaps, I arrived around 9:30. Walking in, I found I had missed Intronaut. A wave of frustration swept over me. As I gasped for air, I also reached for a cold beer. Frustration subsided. I made my rounds as the house lights brightened, telling us all it was time to use the restroom or grab a drink while the headliners set up. I had actually come at the perfect time.As this happened, the curtains started to rise–and so did the noise of the crowd. The intro track played, muted by the sound of the audience. A loud hum of raw emotion, instantly drowned out by the sound of screaming guitars. These axes would not be heard from much, unfortunately. As the night went on and the audio was mixed by the house tech at the El Rey, the guitars and vocals seemed to get lost among the sound of thunderous bass drum. I was not alone in this perception, as the crowed used any quiet moments to yell out a slew of levels adjustments they thought might help. Luckily most of us knew these tracks as well as the band does, but for newcomers to the Cynic scene, they were left to guess what a Cynic song might actually sound like, and got to enjoy only the beautiful light show.
The venue was packed, as it usually is; the difference on this night was the feeling in the air. There was no pushing in the front rows, no drunken yelling outside, only handshakes and high fives. There we smiles behind beer glasses, and helpful hands to pick you up from the floor of the pit. While I was prepared to shove my way through people to assure I got the photo angles I wanted, I didn’t need to. In one instance, I was lifted to rest my knee on a guy’s shoulder after they saw me struggling to get the shot. I have never been so delighted to be a part of such a positive fan base. This is a group of people who really love the creativity that comes from this group of talented individuals, and shares in that common bond. If not for the amazing music that Cynic puts together, you will surely find me at more shows thanks to the warm experience of being part of such a fun, inspiring crowd.
If you would like to be there too, head over to Cynic’s website for tour dates.