Hand dancing! Crowd conducting! Body rocking! Cut Copy ushered in tribal-tinged dance and the spirit of summer at Terminal 5 in the first of two sold-out shows over the weekend at the midtown venue.
Opening with a bombastic rendition of "Nobody Lost, Nobody Found," the Australian four-piece thwarted comparisons that they're just the down-under equivalent of MGMT and Hot Chip with a wholly psychedelic show after Brooklyn openers Holy Ghost! of DFA. Note: unless you're Britney Spears and an abruptly-departed Enrique Iglesias, bands and their opening acts are usually obviously complementary — here, the two boy bands at times mirrored each other in their mutual predilection for swoopy synth-pop and the art school kids that adore them.
Cut Copy’s hourlong set included songs from their breakthrough album "In Ghost Colours" and their latest effort, "Zonoscope," which showcases the band's growth from easy fist-pumping hits to wonkier, reverb-soaked and percussion-heavy numbers like "Blink And You'll Miss a Revolution" and "Pharaohs and Pyramids."
A highlight of the show, the epic 15-minute "Sun God" induced the crowd into an outright trance-like state as frontman Dan Whitford enthusiastically head-bobbed on stage alongside a keyboard and flying guitar riffs and the occasional tambourine action.
If tunes from "Zonoscope" sound less immediately accessible than their preceding album, this also translates somewhat live.
For every "Need You Now," there was louder rallying and crowd-chorusing for "Hearts on Fire," the closing pair of songs from the band’s high-octane encore.
We should also mention the oddity that was happening on stage -- a giant screen fashioned like a doorway of some sort was used to project the band’s visuals: Dali-like desert imagery, prehistoric tribal figurines, a leafy green plant growing from a woman's head. We get it: Cut Copy's surreal!
Say what you say about the band's earnestness and lack of subtlety — Cut Copy also never ever lacks energy.