Cloud Nothings Energize Crowd at Union Transfer

If you’re looking for a relaxing Sunday night outing, you probably shouldn’t go to a Cloud Nothings show. But this is not by any means a bad thing– the Cleveland-based-three piece puts on a high-energy performance without the slightest lull or break in musical form.

Amanda X of Philadelphia and Tyvek, a DIY punk band from Detroit, were fitting openers for Cloud Nothings. Tyvek, whose name is derived from a brand of polyethylene fibers, sound as though they could be part of a 90s garage rock scene. During their first song, the reverb was so strong that there were loud, high-pitched screeching noises. It was hard to know if this was an equipment issue, or if it was an homage to noise rock.

Tyvek performs at Union Transfer

Tyvek performs at Union Transfer

As Cloud Nothings took the stage, aggressive fans pushed each other around to create a large clearing in the center of the pit– a definitive sign that chaos was about to break out.

Cloud Nothings began their set with “Now Hear In,” a hit from their April release Here And Nowhere Else. As soon as the music began, punches were thrown. There was no place in the pit where you could avoid being shoved by overzealous punk fans.

Cloud Nothings performs at Union Transfer

Cloud Nothings performs at Union Transfer

Though their fans are rowdy and chaotic, Cloud Nothings’s music is not. Each song is exciting, packed with rises and falls of climactic electricity, but the energy is expertly contained. It’s no wonder that Cloud Nothings’s lo-fi, indie punk sound is gaining traction, putting a new, shoegaze-like twist on the sound of bands like Tigers Jaw and Brand New.

Musically, Cloud Nothings’s performance is tight and intricate– there is rarely a misstep, and it’s nearly impossible to spot a mistake. Between certain songs, the band would seamlessly transition into spontaneous instrumental jams, and with just as much grace, launch back into another song. Though Cloud Nothings is often considered to be the brainchild of Dylan Baldi, he and his bandmates TJ Duke (bass) and Jayson Gerycz (drums) act as parts of one whole, cohesive unit. Without even glancing at each other, the trio plays together so well that they know when to transition from instrumental to song.

Dylan Baldi of Cloud Nothings

Dylan Baldi of Cloud Nothings

The crowd was most energetic (and dangerous) during the first few songs, but the chaotic ambiance pervaded through the entire set. Several fans climbed onto the stage, only to be pushed back down by the security guards. Cloud Nothings may not have as big a draw as other bands that pass through Union Transfer, but nearly every fan at the show was genuinely excited to be there…whether they expressed that excitement through mild violence or not.

After a decently-sized set of material coming mostly from their most recent album, Cloud Nothings came back on stage for a two-song encore. They closed the show with “I’m Not A Part of Me,” a single from Here And Nowhere Else. The moshing and attempts at stage diving only increased during the encore. Though the rowdy Philadelphia crowd was a bit of a nuisance (or entertainment, depending on your opinion), Cloud Nothings definitely know how to put on a great show. Check out their new music video for “Now Hear In” below!

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