ROYAL OAK: The Cult burst onto the scene in 1986 in a big way. The album was, “LOVE” and it slammed the MTV airwaves and the college crowd loved it. Within a few weeks it popped up onto the Rolling Stone top ten ranking college albums. The traditional rock and roll audience kind of blew it off as nothing serious making fun of the albums status, (“You mean to tell me you ACTUALLY pay attention to the college radio album list?). LOVE, was big, powerful, and it had the club dance hit, “She Sells Sanctuary”. It brought back this quasi appreciation for the late 60’s, mysticism, and it called for introspection. The album was moody and very atmospheric and the biggest release up to date.
MTV and alternative radio continued to chip away at the public consciousness with other acts. There was The Replacements, THE THE, The Lime Spiders, PIL. By the time The Cult released its follow up, “Electric” in 1987 the direction was very clear. This was going to be a much louder effort and the focus was going to be on splitting a few ear drums and making a very loud statement. This band was going to propel itself into the media mainstream forever. Well almost thirty years later this has been certainly the case. In fact, last year The Cult rolled out a full presentation of the classic rock album, “Electric” live in concert in its entirety. That is the cool thing to do now you know…. Do a full classic album live in front of a cheering crowd.
It was unclear what Ian Astbury and the crew was going to do at the Royal Oak show. I made sure I got there early to check things out. The t-shirt booth got my attention. I noticed some shirts there that had the, “Electric” album graphics on it. And those shirts actually looked BETTER than the ones they first toured with on the original, “Electric” tour when they supported Billy Idol in Pine Knob in 1987, (Yeah, I was there for that one too). I did a little researching on the tour thus far and knew they were going to whip out a few from that album when I did a set list search on Google.
The supporting act was something called, “Electric Citizen”. They were good but I never heard of them before. I was able to get a good spot on the floor really close to the front row and I didn’t’ want to lose my spot. When Ian Astbury came onto the stage I didn’t really recognize him. He had put on some weight, he had sunglasses on and his hair was really short. Billy Duffy came out wearing this white 900 pound Rickenbacker guitar and I could make out the opening riffs to, “Rain” and the crowd was going crazy. Astbury had this raccoon tail dangling from his back pocket, (maybe it was a fox tail) so he was still holding onto this Native American power. This guy takes that stuff seriously. I’m Native American actually and this guy tries to hold onto more traditions than I do and he’s British. Go figure.
THE CULT STILL HAS IT – LIVE FOOTAGE FROM 2013