Cigarettes After Sex – Live @ The Powerstation, Auckland 2018

Cigarettes After Sex – Live @ The Powerstation, Auckland 2018

Singer Greg Gonzalez is somewhat of an enigma. His dreamy androgynous-like vocals and slight demeanour personify the music and muse of the El Paso group, to a point it seems to fit the band like a second skin.


The American Ambient Popsters wasted no time assuming their designated positions onstage, Gonzalez occasionally straying from his spot to adjust his steely gaze upon the packed Auckland crowd – Hell, I’d seen the venue less full for bigger artists, but the audience were treated to an intimate concert that was at times sheer mesmerising.

Popular singles Affection and K were belted out at slow motion speed, while Reo Speedwagon’s classic Keep On Loving You really upped the ante affecting the dynamic of the night and sending the crowd into a animated frenzy – I could just imagine soft-porn performers Solid Gold Dancers boogieing to this one.


C.A.S have a vibe that is fresh tinged with a touch of retro, content on being pensive and intimidatingly cool. The group could be accused of being monotonal to the point of risking alienating their audience, however, I found this not to be the case, Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby and Apocalypse are just great Pop tunes.  

Hard to believe in their stable tenure together that have only just released their debut album a couple of months ago, it’s a sound that reminds me of ‘Chris Isaak on Ritalin’, while it may not be everyone’s cuppa this translates wonderfully in a live setting.

Love the age-related look and sound of the group, that will no doubt feed into an interesting next album.  Maybe we can rebrand their genre to include the tag ‘El Paso’ Pop?

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