Live Music

An Evening With Cake

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Band promises better than ever show at the AMP

ffw-0430-cake

The Set List

By Brian Washburn


Musicians seem to be switching at light speed to eco-friendly tour buses, food containers and other aspects of their alternative, on-the-road lifestyles. But even though some may be doing this for the “show factor,” long-time alternative staple Cake is doing it to lessen their impact and at the same time, use the solar-powered studio where they are recording their seventh album to jack up their intensity.

“We are conscious of environmental concerns, so we’re doing what we can to make it more comfortable and justify our existence a little more and take away a little bit of guilt,” said keyboardist/trumpet player Vince DiFiore in a phone interview. “At the same time, we’re unleashing a lot more electricity partly because of the solar power at the studio. We are not as hesitant to let some power chords cut lose because the studio power is coming from the sun.”

Cake’s DiFiore, vocalist/guitarist John McCrea, guitarist Xan McCurdy, bassist Gabe Nelson and drummer Andrew Griffin have been touring internationally and around the U.S. since 1994, but this time around, the California five-piece is tweaking their sound and giving fans exactly what they’ve been asking for — a longer live set.

Even though the new album will not be finished until mid-summer and won’t be released until the end of this year, DiFiore says it will be a little heavier than their past material, partly because of the solar power. 

Cake has always been an alternative to the radio-friendly alternative rock, both back in the day and (somewhat) in today’s jumbled music scene. And that will not change, as DiFiore still sees Cake as a cross influence band, mixing country, 70s pop and a bit of 80s hair metal. But while the music will remain mostly the same, Cake’s touring and recording schedules mean a drastic change in how fans will view the Cake concert and get their new music.

“This tour we are going out with ‘An Evening with Cake’ format. There’s no opening act, it’s just us doing one with then an intermission and then a second set. We hope to satisfy the listeners who need to hear the songs they want to hear. We’re playing more songs and spending more time on stage,” DiFiore said. 

This will allow the band to select a vast array of songs they have stockpiled over the years. But concertgoers won’t know which songs (old or new) the band is going to play, just yet. In fact, the band doesn’t even know what songs they are going to playing until they are literally on stage, DiFiore said. This idea, which was put into motion by the band’s manager, was actually sparked by the numerous letters and e-mails the band received.

While Cake’s concert presentation is changing, their recording process is also taking a major switch, one that will allow the band to tour more and not feel crunched to get a new album out.

“We are going to start recording an album a little at a time, so we will go out on the road, go to the studio and record a song, then go back on the road then go back to the studio to record another song,” 

DiFiore said. “We won’t be doing an album all at one time. We will piece it together and not feeling the crunch and the album will be ready to release without spending so much time in the studio and not touring.”

Cake’s live show, one in which DiFiore feels gives Cake songs “more of a pop,” will stop at the Arkansas Music Pavilion on Friday. Though the band has grown up and matured over the years, both musically and personally, the touring lifestyle never seems to leave their minds, and “An Evening with Cake” is an engagement that should not be missed.

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