Somewhere at the elliptical intersection of sex-sweat and spiritual goosebumps lives a band of Brisbane beauties unlike any other before. Words are about as much use as an upturned tortoise when attempting to apprehend or comprehend the elusive-like-thistledown unisex love potion that is Cub Sport. The August 23rd livestream of their full, front-to-back performance of their narrative and naked new album, Like Nirvana (QRO review), is something to cut all the way across your life. The performance is akin to one of those neo-classical ‘90s afterparties that used to start just before dawn astride negligible warehouse rooftops the world over back when house music was king. Because of the 14-hour time zone difference separating the east coast of Australia from the east coast of the United States, that is squarely what it turned out to be for this writer, beginning at 6:00 AM local Atlanta time and handily catapulting me way past the second star on the right and straight on ‘til morning.
If livestreams could have a cologne component, the olfactory cognate to Cub Sport’s performance of Like Nirvana would undeniably be Tom Ford’s Fucking Fabulous. Public Service Announcement: you will get stoned off this performance. Put the kids and dogs to bed before you go here. Have your black shiraz and ocean sunsets cued up, this concert represents limitless serotonin for all of your senses. True love is the ultimate drug state, after all, the very best and purest kind of high. Even secondhand witnessing it at a range this close is simultaneously becalming and stirring. If you admit that you need to believe again but are admittedly short on time, skip straight ahead to the Gioconda smiles flown like wedding doves between Nelson and Netterfield at 38:20. These taken alone might as well be teal-haired Lady Gaga in her “Marry the Night” bathtub meets a purgatorial hot sauce challenge. The sensual Scoville level simply has no number.
A few snapshots of significance: The opener, wherein Tim Nelson is essentially cloud-bathing in red smoke, barefoot and beatific, holding a wireless mic in each hand, one set to make the same synthed-out ultraluxe undermurmur of his voice that any Cub Sport song makes of whatever misfiring defenses you have cosmetically attached to your most secret feelings. Like a kidnapped wood-god in an oarsman jacket, scarves of concrete poetry flowing out of his mouth, his iconicity is now indisputable. Davis, Netterfield, and Puusaari gleam atop mod-looking moon discs behind him. The lighting technician deserves his or her own full chest of medals. This is by far the most concert-like livestream you will see in a leap year’s travel. The vibe is replete peace and grace, all certainty and chill, simmering and shimmering. For just over 44 atmospheric minutes you get to live at the rim of your own existence in Cub Sport’s candy box of raw glamour.
When the conclusionary track, “Grand Canyon,” comes down to atomize whatever is left of your weepy ramparts, you will swear there is some unseen choir of seraphim overhead of the band, just out of camera view. There isn’t. There is still only Cub Sport, but by then you know full well: same difference.
I am not convinced any band has ever better, or more naturally conjured the heavens or rendered an auditory portrait of heavenly love so succinctly. This concert is sexy in the monsoon-like way of Gaspare Noe’s infamous, not-quite-pornographic film Love, but also as full of young wonder and innocence as Blue Lagoon. The gorgeous irony here is that, Nelson and Netterfield, once corseted by the breeching of vitiating religion to the point of nearly denying themselves their own destinies, are now the ecumenical arbiters of a religious experience all their own, and one far more transcendent and truthful.
Is scream-crying lyrics a thing? It is now that this livestream exists. Perhaps it takes allusion to the work of another audaciously sensual, famously sexually liberated Australian demigod to best explain the impact of what happens as you watch Cub Sport so vividly execute Like Nirvana live. It sounds and feels like Michael Hutchence looked, wandering like a lost taphophile through the baroque graves of Paris’ fabled Père Lachaise Cemetery in the video for “Never Tear Us Apart.” Two worlds are incalculably colliding here for certain.
Go in knowing that Cub Sport has curated a Cleopatran occasion with this livestream. Be prepared for all things sensational on a volumetric level. Expect to feel different afterward. It works a bit like radionics, the much-maligned and highly controversial pseudoscience wherein patients and doctors supposedly communicate via vibrational frequencies from hundreds of miles apart. Except there is no Hippocratic snake oil here–Cub Sport actually does manifest healing frequencies in the real via this digital last lagoon of live music in 2020. Big ups, Brisbane beauties. You’ve made our jaded hearts give way more than a damn about you, for there can be no doubt that you are so perfect that it’s hurting the marrow of Earth.
Watch Cub Sport performing Like Nirvana live:
photos by Mitch Lowe