DEVO steals the show at the inaugural Cruel World Festival on May 14, 2022. (Photo courtesy Cruel World)
Last weekend, California mega-festival organizer Goldenvoice finally fulfilled its pandemic-delayed vision of presenting a gala event consisting solely of alternative new wave and post-punk bands of the ’70s and ’80s coupled with younger bands who have adapted a similar sound in the 2010s and 2020s.
And so it was that an estimated 50,000 people (the capped capacity of the park) streamed into Brookside at the Rose Bowl for the first day of the newly minted, annual Cruel World Festival on Saturday, May 14.
Here is a recap of five of the best acts to play that day.
ACTORS play live at Pie Shop in DC on April 3, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
ACTORS, a quartet hailing from Vancouver, have garnered some attention over the past 10 years for creating music hailed by the North American goth crowd. But as evidenced by a recent concert at Pie Shop in DC, the dark wave band fully possesses an abundance of rock ‘n roll chops that distinguished them from many of their peers.
ACTORS (Photo by Kira Clavell)
Canadian dark wavers ACTORS released their sophomore album, Acts of Worship, in 2021. Acts of Worship is an album of driving beats, massive hooks, and dramatic atmospheres — equally melancholy and electrifying.
ACTORS now make their DC live debut in a show at Pie Shop on Sunday, April 3!
Korine (Photo by Caro Ramirez)
Philadelphia dark-wave duo Korine launch a headlining tour that brings them to DC to perform at Comet Ping Pong on Thursday, March 3!
Cold Cave (Photo courtesy Indie Publicity)
As Cold Cave prepare for the release of their highly-anticipated new 7-song album Fate in Seven Lessons, the group has premiered another single — this time, the release’s brooding, pensive opener “Prayer from Nowhere.”
The Lord of the Lost Ensemble (Photo by Jan Season)
“Dying on the Moon” is a beautiful ballad, perfectly performed by Chris Harms and Joy Frost, who’s voices complement each other perfectly in a bittersweet duet.
Underlined by the classical The Lord of the Lost Ensemble, the German dark metal maestros deliver a soulful and slightly desperate track that goes straight into the listeners heartstrings — an ode to trusting one’s soul’s decision and believing in yourself.
The 69 Eyes (Photo by Pasi Klemetti)
THE 69 EYES released their apocalyptically titled new album, West End, last fall and started their 30th anniversary world tour. On Friday, June 26, they celebrate three decades by streaming a live show from Helsinki.
She Past Away (Photo courtesy Reybee Inc.)
Turkey-based post-punk band She Past Away summons classic post-punk sound into a goth-infused blast that has excited an entire genre. The band’s live show ruptures with sprawling ’80s post-punk energy and beckons the masses to join.
And join you can when She Past Away livestreams a show via Dice TV on Wednesday, June 17!
Wovenhand performs at Black Cat on March 2, 2020. (Photos by Marc Shea)
David Eugene Edwards is the creative force behind Wovenhand. After making his mark with the gothic sounding, alt-country band Sixteen Horsepower, David originally recorded his own solo work under the Wovenhand moniker. This has given him the opportunity to explore a variety of musical styles, but they are all connected by his inherent intensity.
His trademark fire and brimstone delivery was apparent in a recent show at Black Cat.
Wovenhand (Photo by Simon Skreddernes)
The music of Wovenhand and songwriter/multi-instrumentalist David Eugene Edwards has always had an unparalleled intensity. David’s rich, billowing and emotive voice is always the driving force of his music, but it’s catapulted by his spellbinding ability to transform instruments that many people might consider mundane relics — be it banjo, accordion, lesser-known folk instruments from around the world, or even an electric guitar — into devices of dark fury and poignant beauty.
Wovenhand returns to DC to open OM at Black Cat on Monday, March 2.