What fans lacked in hair they made up for in enthusiasm when The Cult hit Festival Hall

The night began with Sydney group The Art taking to the stage to get the audience nice and warm. Having just released their latest album All In The Mind, The Art played a few of their older tracks laced with some of their new.  There were big vocals and some even bigger biceps, as their topless drummer attacked the skins.
Bathed in violet lights The Cult entered the stage and opened with big crowd pleaser Wildfire as the sea of heads (that donned far less hair than they might have a couple of decades ago) punched their fists in the air. A tambourine toting Ian Astbury belted out the favourite and there was a distinct sense of a particular generation. The crowd seeming to take in the show with their eyes, rather than through their smartphone screens – it was heartening.
The second song Rain began and there was plenty of microphone twirling to get the crowd hyped. There appeared to be a nearly endless supply of tambourines as Astbury gifted many lucky fans in the moshpit throughout the show. Astbury also showed us how he’s been working Russian dance moves, as he frequently squatted into the explosive parts.
As Lil’ Devil closed, Astbury noted that “Melbourne is fucking chill,” which was followed by the expected cheer as the mass of Melburnites swelled with hometown pride. There was much shredding from Billy Duffy as he commanded the entire left side of the stage and the punters couldn’t get enough.
The lightshow that accompanied the set was impressive, adding an additional element of rock to the already dripping-with-rock evening. One fan afterwards remarked over Astbury’s improved attitude compared to their last Oz show.  They left the stage and were promptly summoned back for an encore, dishing out G O A T and Love Removal Machine  for dessert. The fans were happy – in a gothy-punky way. The collective thirst for The Cult being (temporarily) satiated.
Words by Asha Collins.
Image by Ian Laidlaw. 
Highlight: Sweet Soul Sister.
Lowlight: Not too much moshing by the crowd.
Crowd Favourite: Wildfire.