The Southern California alt rock band Cake took to the Irving Plaza stage in New York City on a frigid December date to heat up the night with two solid sets of tunes old and new. It was all part of the WRXP Yule Rock Holiday Concert Series, complete with a traditional tree lighting and the requisite dj introductions. Cake blasted into the signature drumbeat of “Comfort Eagle”, with the crowd joining as one for the line “he is calling you DUDE!”
Cake’s lack of a set list allows a free form approach to their concerts, so they pulled out a few new songs throughout the evening sprinkled with hits. The newer tunes stood up well with the trademark mix of genres, satirical commentary and vibraslap. This sixth release is expected January 11th (with a lion on the cover, said frontman John McCrea). He also proclaimed that “We are Cake and we are here to serve you” as an introduction. “Love You Madly”, “Wheels” and “Friend Is a Four Letter Word” provided the highlights. Other singalongs were suggested as endorphins for the brain that were easier to acquire than a beer from the bar in the back of the room.
As with all Cake shows, a tree was given away to someone who knew what kind of evergreen the little specimen decorating the stage (she just happened to be a cake decorator!) The conditions for the giveaway were that the receiver had a place to plant it, would put it there and document its growth on Cake’s website. This is coming from a group that has a carpool page for fans attending shows plus links to many environment and public policies relating to the cause. Cake then presented a blistering cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” for the encore and ended with the emblematic rock of “The Distance”.