Reviewed by Daniel Mee, Fri., Nov. 14, 2008
The CynicsWaterloo Park, Nov. 9
For the Cynics, the brevity of a festival set became an opportunity to shelve their ballads in favor of no-frills rock, reaching back to the 1980s for some of their rippingest garage punk. Indeed, the set seemed to get harder and faster as they warmed up, with "Now I'm Alone" the high point. The Pittsburgh quartet looked to be finishing with a thudding, two-chord grind, but then provided an epilogue by bringing out the Ugly Beats' Jeanine Attaway to play organ. Vocalist Michael Kastelic, scuzzily androgynous and resembling some kind of strung-out cabin boy in a long pirate-striped T-shirt and tight black jeans, was in fine form throughout, gyrating comically like some cruel send-up of a rock singer and staring down audience members as if daring them to have a good time. Between songs he poked fun at the warm, dusty conditions by pretending to think he was on a USO tour in Iraq: "Bob Hope is coming up next, then Dolly Parton and Don Rickles!"