I arrived at The Knitting Factory on for The Cliks’ concert with freezing rain in my hair, slush-filled boots and small expectations. The audience was thin and my date for the night was depressed. Ingredients for an unimpressive night? Check.
As the lights dimmed and openers Electric Fiction stepped on the stage, the growing crowd wandered toward the stage. Full of Bowie style and corsets and stage presence, Electric Fiction fought the good fight in terms of warming the crowd up. While decidedly different than Canadian rock band The Cliks, they were still warmly received and deliciously vampy. Bubblegummy in a Rocky Horror kind of way. I was beginning to warm up to the night.
An hour into the concert, I suddenly found myself surrounded by what had become a sizeable crowd of ladies and gentlemen, all ages, all types. As The Cliks finally plugged in on stage, they were greeted by yells of encouragement from a fan base that seemed almost chummy with members of the band. All four members of the band accepted the welcome with smiles, hellos, waves and then an aggressive roar into their set.
Right away, singer Lucas Silveira started their new song Wolfman and bassist Jen Benton was pounding the stage with hair flying. When the mic cut out during their hit Complicated, Silveira didn’t stop pushing the energy out, no instrument skipped a beat and the audience kept the song moving with their own singing. Drummer Morgan Doctor successfully toned the room to the energy of each song, especially the drivingly forceful Oh Yeah and another new piece, Misery.
While I was blown away by the musicality of The Cliks’ set, their stage presence and band energy was captivating and contagious. Watching Silveira and guitarist Nina Martinez lean in closer and closer, eye contact held constantly before exploding into “I want, I want, I want my baby…” of Oh Yeah, was indescribably sensual. Martinez and Benton held the same dangerous proximity leading into another explosive chorus and Benton and Martinez hurdling away from each other, instruments swinging.
After a lighter waving encore including their gritty cover of Cry Me a River, Silveira shouted with his laryngitis throat, “You guys are cool!” before exiting. No Lucas, you guys are cool.
Check out The Cliks’ latest album Snakehouse on Tommyboy Records.